If you’ve never had halibut cheeks, you’re in for a culinary treat. Many people think that simply and properly prepared, they taste like a cross between lobster and crab—no kidding. Give them a try! You can use regular pasta but the black squid ink pasta adds a panache to the dish.
1Cut large cheeks into halves or quarters as necessary. In a brown paper bag, mix flour, garlic salt, and pepper. Add the halibut cheeks, 3 or 4 at a time, and shake to flour each piece; continue until all the fish has been floured.
2Heat 3 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the halibut cheeks and cook 2 minutes on each side or until lightly browned. With a slotted spoon or spatula, remove the cooked cheeks from the pan, place on a heated platter, cover, and keep warm. Reserve the pan and the oil and brown bits from the fish and set pan aside.
3Put a large pot of water (3–4 quarts with 1 tablespoon salt added) on the stove and bring to a boil. Add 1/4 of the minced shallots.
4Add pasta to the boiling water and cook until al dente, about 3–4 minutes. Drain pasta, then put in a large bowl, sprinkle with the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil, and toss to coat. Cover and keep warm.
5In the same skillet you cooked the cheeks in, add white lemon juice, wine, and lemon zest, and the remaining shallots and cook for 3 minutes over medium heat, stirring occasionally to scrape up brown bits and thoroughly incorporate the wine and lemon.
6Remove the skillet from the heat and pour the contents over the pasta, tossing gently to coat. Gently fold in the halibut cheeks until well distributed through the pasta.
7Transfer the pasta to wide, flat pasta bowls and sprinkle with freshly grated Parmesan cheese and minced parsley. Serve with toasted garlic bread.