Pan-seared Snapper with Spaghetti  and Lemon-Cream Sauce

Pan-seared Snapper with Spaghetti and Lemon-Cream Sauce

by Chef Matthias Bispham of D’Onofrio’s Trattoria

From basil-cream gnocchi to linguine alla pescatore with a host of seafood, cherry tomatoes, herbs and white wine, Chef Matthias Bispham’s casual Italian menu at D’Onofrio’s makes for a relaxing dinner at the award-winning resort. 

— Photography: Kenneth Theysen


It’s an inviting place to unwind with a caprese salad or a bowl of risotto after a day at the pink-sand beach on Barbados’ wilder East Coast (or in one of The Crane’s five pools or your private turret pool, should you be staying on the luxurious property).

Chef Bispham started at the resort’s upscale dining restaurant, L’Azure, eight years ago. He took over as chef of D’Onofrio’s in 2017. This pan-seared snapper isn’t on the menu (yet!), but it reflects the restaurant’s ethos of simple but well-made food. It also pairs perfectly with a bottle of white wine, good company and a saltwater breeze.

Pan-seared Snapper with Spaghetti and Lemon-cream Sauce
Serves 2

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10 oz. (300 g) cooked spaghetti
1 tbsp. (15 ml) vegetable oil
2 tsp. (10 ml) unsalted butter
Salt and pepper
Two 120-g (4-oz.) snapper fillets, cut in half width-wise
Juice of half a lemon, about 2 tsp. (10 ml)
1 medium onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 zucchini, cut in thin strips
¼ cup (60 ml) white wine or broth
1 cup (250 ml) heavy cream
Zest of 2 lemons
¼ cup (25 g) grated Parmesan cheese or 3 slices Parmigiano-Reggiano
2 tsp. (1 g) chopped parsley, to garnish
Lemon wedges, to garnish

  1. Heat the oil and butter in a large frying pan over medium heat.

  2. Sprinkle the fish with salt and pepper and place in the hot pan.

  3. Cook for 3 minutes on each side, then sprinkle with lemon juice and remove from the pan.

  4. Add the garlic, onions and zucchini to the pan and cook over medium heat for one minute, stirring constantly.

  5. Add the wine and cook for one minute.

  6. Stir in the cream, then add the lemon zest and season with salt and pepper.

  7. Add the lemon juice and adjust seasoning to taste.

  8. Transfer the pasta to a plate and top with the parmesan slices followed by the fish.

  9. Garnish with the fresh parsley and lemon wedges.

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  1. Feel free to add a little extra butter while the cream is heating, partly because it keeps the pasta from sticking to the pan, but mostly “because butter is always good”, says Chef Bispham.

  2. Be light on the lemon. “Too much will throw the dish off course”, he says – sage words when dining near an ocean.

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