When I left school I worked in an Italian restaurant. For staff meals we were allowed various basic pastas, but we could pay extra for a more ‘luxury’ meal, such as seafood etc. Every Saturday, I’d ‘spoil’ myself and buy salmon pasta. Once I left the job, I would crave this pasta, so I had to try to recreate it as best I could. I do tend to vary the optional items depending on what I have in the fridge, but the basic stays the same. BTW, if you don’t like garlic, you don’t have to add it, but it is definitely worth it!
- 150 g smoked salmon (diced or in strips)
- 200 g penne (or any pasta with a hollow area that can be filled by sauce)
- 2 -3 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 tablespoon flour
- 1⁄4 cup milk
- 1⁄4 cup cream
- 2 tablespoons capers (optional)
- 2 spring onions (finely chopped) (optional)
- salt & pepper, to taste
- parmesan cheese, to taste
- Boil pasta as per manufacturer’s instructions, and set aside.
- In a frying pan, heat olive oil, and warm the crushed garlic cloves for just a few seconds. Add the smoked salmon strips and let them cook just enough to warm them. It doesn’t need to be cooked as such, just enough heat to infuse the garlic with the salmon.
- At this point add any optionals, such as capers or spring onions, but bare in mind that the salmon/garlic blend is already very rich.
- When cooked, set aside.
- Place the butter in a separate preheated saucepan and melt the butter down (on low heat). Once the butter is melted down add the plain flour.
- Stir well and cook the mixture of butter and plain flour which should go a bit lumpy and dry at this stage.
- Mix the milk and cream well.
- Remove from heat and slowly, very slowly add the milk and stir. This must be done slowly, or it will become lumpy. Keep adding the milk until the desired thickness is achieved.
- Add the sauce to the salmon and mix well.
- Add the pasta, sprinkle with some parmesan cheese and black pepper and enjoy!