Penne With Salmon Puttanesca

"From Food & Wine, May 2007"
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  • 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.

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  1. 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!
  2. 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.)


My husband and I married straight out of college in July of 1992. I work as the Assistant Manager at a wine shop which allows me to drink on the job! (OK, not that much, but it's still a fun job...) Besides helping customers choose wine they will like (and also help with food and wine pairings for their menus), I also get to help with the catering end of the business, so I get to spend a fair amount of time in the kitchen making fun appetizers and beautiful food displays. I also work part-time at the fromagerie next door. So yeah - that means I eat on the job, too. :^D We live on several peaceful wooded acres on a cute little river in rural NE Wisconsin, with a cranky old-lady Burmese and whatever stray outdoor cats that have decided to adopt us on any given day. The cute puppy in the picture is Jake, our Elhew-bred English Pointer that we brought home on Easter weekend 2007. I've also got 2 painted turtles named Dennis and Fuzz, and a bunch of fish (koi and goldfish, along with the guppies & swordtails in the turtle tank). I USUALLY eat and cook healthy, but I rarely pass up dessert, either. I do not eat red meat, and try to limit other animal products, too. I love to bake, although I seem to collect a lot of scone and biscotti recipes which I NEVER get around to making. I bake and eat A LOT of cookies and muffins... I almost always reduce the sugar by 1/4 and use whole wheat pastry flour for at least part of the flour. Those two changes do so much to make recipes healthier without compromising taste. I try to reduce fat whenever I can, too, but while I want to eat healthy, I still want to ENJOY what I eat!!! I seem to give a lot of 4 and 5 star reviews here - I seem to have a pretty good sense of what I like by looking at a recipe before I try it. Thank you to anyone that tries my recipes in return, or photographs them. Amber: <img src=""> ........And a grown up Jake (one year old in January 2008) :) - <img src=""> Charlotte (May 27, 1992-June 1, 2009): <img src=""> Ashley: Adopted October 8, 1996 - Passed Away January 6, 2009 <img src=""> Mike: September 26, 1994 - March 19, 2004<img src="">.... <a href=''><img src='' alt='Click to zoom in on my visitor map!' border='0'></a>Create your free world <a href='' target='_blank'>visitor maps</a>
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