By VICTOR E. SASSON
Here is a fish-and-pasta dinner that is ready in 15 minutes or less.
On a second fruitless trip for wild salmon to the Costco Wholesale in Hackensack, my wife came home with a consolation prize on Monday:
A little over 2 pounds of skinless and boneless Fresh Wild Atlantic Cod, long-line caught in Iceland, for $7.99 a pound.
I cut the two fillets into serving pieces, divided a 44-ounce bottle of Classico Tomato & Basil Pasta Sauce into large and small pots, and put water on the stove to boil a half-pound of organic whole wheat capellini.
The Tomato & Basil Sauce is indistinguishable from marinara, and next time I'll put all of the sauce into one large pan, poach the fish in it and then ladle extra sauce over the cooked and drained pasta.
You can add red wine, drained and rinsed anchovies, lemon juice, black pepper, garlic powder and other seasonings to the sauce -- or not.
But try to use chopped fresh mint or other herbs as a final accent on the cod.
The Luigi Vitelli Organic Whole Wheat Capellini I used takes 3 minutes to 4 minutes in boiling water to cook, and the fish is ready in not much longer.
The cod is translucent when raw, but firms up and turns snowy white when cooked in a gently boiling sauce with the cover on.
I usually finish dinner with a salad of pre-washed Earthbound Farm Organic Spring Mix dressed simply with extra-virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
DINNER OF LEFTOVERS: The next night, I had the cod with leftover organic whole wheat fusilli made with canned sardines from last week, and sauteed Chinese broccoli.
Bottled marinara also is great for poaching organic eggs, then adding shredded cheese and chopped fresh herbs.
At Trader Joe's in Paramus today, a 3-pound net bag of Organic Sweet Potatoes was $4.49, compared to $5.99 or $6.99 at the Paramus ShopRite.
A 2-pound bag of small Organic Granny Smith Apples was $2.99.
Trader Joe's Dark Roast Coffee, which you can grind in the store, is $4.99 for a 13-ounce canister.
I also bought a low-sodium version of a 100% vegetable juice called Garden Patch ($3.49 for a 64-ounce bottle).
Trader Joe's is at 404 Route 17 north in Paramus (201-265-9624).