Having a dinner party? Here's a terrific recipe that requires a little bit of work, but you'll see that it's absolutely worth it. Niçoise olives, capers, white wine and Dijon mustard are just some of the ingredients that come together to season this company's coming dish.
Place the peppercorns and thyme into a square of cheesecloth. Fold the ends of the cheesecloth up and tie to secure. Heat the wine, shallots, garlic and cheesecloth bag in a 2-quart saucepan over medium heat to a boil. Cook until the liquid is reduced to about 1/2 cup.
Drain the capers, and reserve about 3 tablespoons of the caper liquid. Add the chicken broth, vinegar, mustard and reserved caper liquid to the saucepan. Cook over medium heat until the liquid is reduced by one-half. Remove the cheesecloth bag. Slowly whisk in the butter until melted.
Pour the reduced mixture into a blender or food processor. Cover and blend until the mixture is smooth. Gradually add the olive oil during blending. Add 2 tablespoons capers and the olives and blend for 30 seconds.
Sprinkle the fish with the pepper. Heat the canola oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Add the fish and cook for 8 minutes or until the fish flakes easily when tested with a fork, turning the fish over once during cooking. Remove the fish from the skillet and keep warm.
Heat the vegetable broth in a 3-quart saucepan over medium heat to a boil. Add the pasta and cook for 10 minutes or until it's tender. Drain the pasta and return to the saucepan. Stir in the unsalted butter and lemon zest, until the butter is melted.
Spoon about 1/3 cup pasta into each of 8 bowls. Top each with 1 piece fish and about 1/2 cup caper mixture. Garnish with the basil, if desired.