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Seared Alaska Halibut Pasta with Pistachio Pesto and Roasted Tomatoes

Seared Halibut Pasta with Pistachio Pesto and Roasted Tomatoes (Alaska from Scratch)
Pan seared halibut pairs perfectly with pistachio pesto topped with roasted tomatoes in this quick and easy recipe by chef Maya Wilson from her cookbook “Alaska From Scratch.”
  • Prep Time: 12 minutes
  • Cook Time: 35 minutes
  • Total Time: 47 minutes
  • Servings: 4


  • Roasted Tomatoes

  • 2 cups small yellow and red tomatoes, such as grape and cherry, sliced in half
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  •  Pistachio Pesto

  • 1 cup shelled roasted pistachios
  • 1 cup basil leaves
  • 1⁄4 cup fresh cilantro
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1⁄2 cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 pound angel hair pasta
  • 1 tablespoon avocado oil
  • 4 halibut fillets (4-6 ounce each)
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste


  1. Step 1 Roast the tomatoes

    Pre- heat the oven to 400F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil. Arrange the tomatoes on the pan. Drizzle the tomatoes with the olive oil and season generously with salt and pepper. Roast for 15-20 minutes, or until softened and blistered.

  2. Step 2 Meanwhile, make the pesto

    In a food processor, combine the pistachios, basil, cilantro, garlic, lemon zest, cheese, and 1⁄4 cup of the olive oil. Process on medium speed, drizzling in more olive oil as needed to reach the desired consistency. The pesto should be slightly thinner than a paste, but not runny. Season with kosher salt to taste.

  3. Step 3 Cook the pasta

    Prepare the pasta according to package directions for al dente. Drain lightly, reserving about 1⁄4 cup of the pasta water. Return the angel hair to the pot with the pasta water. Stir in the pesto until coated.

  4. Step 4 Pan fry the halibut

    In a cast-iron skillet, heat the avocado oil over medium-high heat. Pat the halibut fillets dry and season them with salt and pepper to taste. Sear them until browned on the bottom, about 4 minutes (see note). Gently turn them with a metal fish spatula and cook for 60 to 90 seconds, or until cooked to medium-rare to medium in the center, being careful not to overcook, or they will become dry.

    Note: Searing time will vary depending on the thickness of your fillets. If your fillets are quite thick, the cast-iron skillet can be transferred to a 350F oven to finish cooking. But again, be very careful not to overcook and dry out the halibut.

  5. Step 5 Plate and serve

    Divide the pesto coated angel hair among 4 pasta bowls. Top each bowl of pasta with a halibut fillet. Distribute the roasted tomatoes evenly among the 4 bowls. Serve promptly with freshly grated Parmesan.

Recipe Tutorial