Prep 15 mins
Cook 15 mins
From Food & Wine, May 2007
- 3⁄4 lb penne rigate or 3⁄4 lb other ridged tubular pasta
- 1⁄4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 lb skinless center-cut salmon fillet
- salt & freshly ground black pepper
- 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- 1⁄2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 pint grape tomatoes
- 1⁄4 cup kalamata olive, pitted and coarsely chopped
- 1 tablespoon drained capers, rinsed and coarsely chopped
- 1⁄4 cup finely shredded basil leaves
- In a large pot of salted boiling water, cook the pasta until it’s barely al dente.
- Drain, reserving 1 1/4 cups of the cooking water.
- Meanwhile, in a very large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil.
- Season the salmon with salt and pepper, add it to the skillet and cook over high heat until browned on both sides but not cooked through, about 6 minutes.
- Transfer the salmon to a plate and pour off the oil in the skillet.
- Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil to the skillet along with the garlic and crushed red pepper.
- Cook over moderate heat until the garlic is lightly browned in spots, about 30 seconds.
- Add the tomatoes and cook until just softened, 2 to 3 minutes.
- Add 1 cup of the reserved pasta cooking water and bring to a boil, gently crushing the tomatoes.
- Add the pasta, olives and capers and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until the liquid is slightly absorbed, about 2 minutes.
- Add the salmon to the skillet and break it up into chunks.
- Cook, tossing, until the salmon is nearly cooked through and the pasta is al dente, about 2 minutes; add more of the pasta cooking water if the sauce is dry.
- Stir in the basil, transfer the pasta to bowls and serve.
I love this recipe. I think I might add some sundried tomatoes next time, for a bit more tang. It just takes 30 minutes to get this baby done. A great and different way to have salmon. Yum!
In the puttanesca tradition, this pleasant dish can basically be prepared with what's at hand, in between doing other tasks. It omits the traditional anchovy, which takes a bit of tang out of the taste, and makes the olives and capers more important. It includes non-Mediterranean salmon, which is strong enough to stand up to the other flavors, but might not be the best way to show off this fish. The way the instructions are written here somehow makes the preparation seem quite fussy, but it's really straightforward and forgiving. The quantity scales easily, from individual to a large family (probably even up to institutional). If you're concerned about the calories, the salmon can be cooked with much less olive oil. (Substituting oils will affect the overall taste.)