McFarland trout is exceptionally beautiful seared in a hot pan, so the skin gets extra crispy, and the flesh is fork tender. Slide it on top of a simple pasta twirled with pesto and greens.
Allergen Note: Contains milk, eggs, fish, tree nuts, wheat.
Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Add about half of the spaghetti and cook until al dente, about 9 minutes or according to package instructions. Drain the spaghetti, reserving ¼ cup of the pasta water. Drizzle the spaghetti lightly with oil and toss to prevent sticking.
Meanwhile, remove the trout from the packaging, and season on both sides with salt and pepper. In a large sauté pan over medium-high heat, warm 2 tablespoons olive oil. Add the trout, skin-side down, and cook until the skin is browned and crispy and the flesh is opaque halfway through, 3 to 4 minutes, depending on the thickness of the fillet. Flip the fish to kiss the second side, 30 seconds longer. Transfer to a plate with the crispy skin facing up. Drain any excess fat from the pan.
Return the pan to low heat and add the spaghetti, along with the reserved ¼ cup of pasta water. Add the pesto and half of the cheese and toss to coat and thicken slightly, 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the baby kale last, just until wilted, 1 to 2 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Heap the pesto pasta into bowls and top with pieces of the crispy trout. If you have a grater, shower the whole plate with some lemon zest. Squeeze with lemon juice, grind with pepper, and serve warm.
The trout may arrive frozen for freshness. Store it in the refrigerator to defrost before cooking. If you need to defrost it same day, place it in a bowl of cold water for about 5 minutes, then drain and pat dry.