2 pieces walleye fillets (have your fishmonger remove bones and skin, and all of the nasty stuff too; about 2½ pounds total)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
8 ounces thinly sliced prosciutto
1 pound fregola, acini di pepe, or orzo
1 cup Pesto (see below)
2 red bell peppers, cored, seeded, and cut into ¼-inch dice
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
¼ cup pine nuts, toasted until golden brown
Rinse the walleye and pat dry. Season with salt and pepper.
Arrange half of the prosciutto slices on a work surface, overlapping them to make a rectangle large enough to enclose one of the walleye fillets (use enough prosciutto to enclose the fish securely, but you may have a couple of slices left over). Lay the fish in the center and fold the prosciutto up and around it to make a tight roulade. If necessary, secure with butcher’s twine or toothpicks. Repeat with the second fillet. Set seam side down on a plate and refrigerate for 1 hour.
Preheat a gas grill or prepare a fire in a charcoal grill. Place a piastra on the grill to preheat.
Meanwhile, in a large pot, bring 6 quarts of water to a boil and add 2 tablespoons salt. Set up an ice water bath. Drop the fregula into the boiling water and cook until just al dente. Drain and immediately refresh in the ice bath; when it is cool, drain the fregula extremely well.
In a large bowl, toss the fregula with the pesto and red peppers. Set aside.
Brush each prosciutto-wrapped fillet with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Place on the piastra and cook for 6 minutes, unmoved. Gently roll each one over 90 degrees and cook for 4 minutes. Repeat twice, for a total cooking time of about 18 minutes; the internal temperature should be about 150°F in the thickest part of the fish. Transfer to a platter and allow to rest for 10 minutes.
Cut the tails into ¾-inch slices and arrange nicely on top of the fregula. Drizzle with the remaining 2 tablespoons oil, sprinkle with the pine nuts, and serve.
Makes about 1 cup
3 garlic cloves
2 cups lightly packed fresh basil leaves
3 tablespoons pine nuts
Generous pinch of Maldon or other flaky sea salt
1⁄2 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1⁄4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
3 tablespoons grated pecorino romano
With the motor running, drop the garlic into a food processor to chop it. Add the basil, pine nuts, and salt and pulse until the basil and nuts are coarsely chopped, then process until finely chopped. With the motor running, drizzle in the oil. Transfer to a small bowl and stir in the Parmigiano and pecorino. (The pesto can be stored in a tightly sealed jar, topped with a thin layer of extra virgin olive oil, for several weeks in the refrigerator.)
Winemaker Mark Johnson from Chateau Chantal Winery on the Old Mission Peninsula suggests the following wine with this Mario Batali Recipe:
2011 Chateau Chantal Semi Dry Riesling --$14
"Chantal makes a semi-dry Riesling as good as it gets. Inhale the ripe pear, green apple, lime, grapefruit and honeysuckle. In the mouth, flavors come off dry because of the framework of steep acidity and minerality. It's light and delicate, and has plenty of spunk. According to the winemaker, the floral notes will become more petrol with age. A wine like this will keep its integrity long after the bottle is opened, and if left to age, it can do that too. Pour it with roast pork, chicken dishes and delicate seafood. It would also be a good counterpoint to spicy Asian dishes. Michigan residents should never lose sight of the quality of the Rieslings grown up north and in the southwest part of the state. They are world-class." Sandra Silfven, Detroit News Chateau
Chantal wines are available online.
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