Chewing the Fat has been on a brief hiatus as I have been traveling gathering material for some new travel pieces for The Daily Meal. Pardon my absence but I think it will be rewarded with some new food ideas for you that will be appear here in the next few weeks. In the meantime, today’s recipe will reward you with a simple evening meal that is perfect for a Piscatorian Monday. It’s a lovely creamy mix of fresh salmon, dill and lemon that’s a perfect companion to your favorite ‘short’ pasta and it comes together in no time.
In addition to being an author and historian, our friend Ana is a marvelous cook. One night last month she served us a particularly fine pasta dish which, she insisted, was as easy as all get out to make. In fact, I am publishing this recipe without our usual steps visuals because it really doesn’t need them. All it does require is about 20 minutes in the kitchen and should be served immediately upon being cooked. You can serve this with Parmigiano cheese if you are not an adherent to the Italian dictate of never serving fish with cheese. (None other than the late Marcella Hazan debunked that prohibition to me when I asked her advice on the subject.) Add some crusty bread and a green salad and you’ll have a 30-minute meal you’ll make again and again. Here is the recipe:
Recipe for Ana’s Salmon Pasta
Takes 20 minutes. Serves 6 but is easily cut down or doubled for 12.
6 oz. of fresh wild-caught skinless salmon per serving
(Can be one large or multiple filets of salmon)
1 clove garlic, minced
Zest of 1 lemon
Juice of 1 lemon
¼ cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper
2 tbsp. Capers in Salt
Chopped Dill or Parsley
1 cup plain Greek Yogurt
Parmegiano Cheese (Optional)
1 cup of dried pasta per person…Orechiette, Fusilli, Strozzopreti, Cavetelli, even Penne can be used.
1. Fill a deep saucepan with enough water to thoroughly cover the salmon filet. Add salt, pepper, sprigs of dill or parsley to the water and bring to a boil. Add the salmon and immediately turn off the heat and cover the saucepan. Let the salmon sit in the poaching liquid for ten minutes or until it is done to your liking.
2. While the salmon poaching liquid is heating, heat a large pot of heavily salted water then follow package directions to cook pasta. Add the pasta to the water just as the salmon finishes poaching.
3. Remove the salmon from the poaching liquid. In a large bowl, break the salmon into bite-sized pieces adding the to the bowl.
Add the minced garlic, lemon juice, and capers and the yogurt to the salmon, gently mixing all. Taste for seasoning and add salt and pepper to taste.
4. Drain the pasta, reserving 1 cup of the cooking liquid. In another large bowl, toss the pasta in olive oil. Add the salmon mixture to the pasta, stirring until the two are mixed. Add the dill or parsley and the lemon zest and give it one final stir. Divide it equally into 6 pasta bowls. Serve at once.