Happy Father’s Day!

Dad at Lista’s in the 70’s

To honor my Dad, Vinnie Lista, on Father’s Day I wanted to share about one of his favorite meals:

Friday nights were the busiest nights at Lista’s since it was “Fish Fry” night.  Haddock fish fries were (and still are) one of the most popular menu items in our area.  In case you’re unfamiliar, a fish fry is typically a large fillet of Haddock, dipped in batter (or breaded) and deep fried, served with french fries, coleslaw, and tartar sauce.  At Lista’s you could also choose to have your haddock served with a side of spaghetti or rigatoni.

Dad catering in the 90’s

Since our family observed the Roman Catholic tradition of not eating meat on Fridays, we often had Friday dinner with Dad at the restaurant.  Some of us ate fish fry; some ate pasta, but Dad almost always ate a dish he created for himself, broiled haddock with lemon-butter sauce served over a bed of spaghetti.  “Delicioso!” as he would say.  We eventually put the dish on the Lista’s menu and called it Haddock ala Vincenzo.  Not as popular as a fish fry… but still it did assume a certain following over time.

Haddock ala Vincenzo

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Yield:  4 servings

Cooking spray (such as Pam)
2 lbs Fresh Haddock Fillets (skinless if available) in four portions
1 tsp Lista’s Seasoned Salt
1-2 TBSP lemon juice (bottled or fresh)
2 TBSP Butter – cut into small pieces
8 oz Dry Spaghetti – cooked per package directions to al dente
6 TBSP Butter – melted
1 TBSP Chopped Parsley
1/4 cup Grated Pecorino Romano Cheese
Additional Lemon wedges for serving

1.  Set oven rack about 6 inches from heat source and preheat oven’s broiler.  Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil and spray with cooking spray.
2.  Arrange haddock fillets on prepared baking sheet, sprinkle evenly with the seasoned salt and lemon juice, and dot with pieces of butter.
3.  Place prepared fish under preheated broiler and cook until fish is easily flaked with a fork, 6 to 8 minutes.
4.  In small saucepan melt remaining 6 TBSP butter and keep warm.
5.  Remove cooked fish from oven and pour any accumulated liquids into pan with melted butter, add chopped parsley and stir.
6.  Meanwhile bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook spaghetti per package directions. Drain cooked pasta into a colander over sink – shaking off excess water.  Divide hot pasta equally between 4 serving plates.
7.  Place broiled haddock on each portion of pasta, pour some of the parsley butter sauce over each portion and top with grated Pecorino Romano.  Serve with lemon wedges.  Delicioso!

NOTE:  If you cook dairy free you can easily substitute olive oil for the butter and leave off the Romano cheese .  If using Gluten Free spaghetti my experience has been that GF pasta made with a blend of brown rice, quinoa, and corn flours is the best choice.  

So until next time remember, “The sauce make the difference!”

3 thoughts on “Happy Father’s Day!

  1. I remember sometimes dad would toss a tablespoon of Lista’s sauce with the spaghetti (no more than a tiny splash) to give the pasta a pink hue before adding the haddock filet on top. He sure loved this dish and ate almost every friday night.


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