November 30, 2006
Pasta with Smoked Trout and Parmesan Cream Sauce

The decadent holdays are upon us. From Thanksgiving to Christmas (and on to New Year's eve), you are required to inhale at least 50% of your fat intake for the year. Look, we don't want to do it, but it's a law. Or a rule. Something like that. It's hard work, and even the most dedicated glutton has a hard time achieving the 50% goal, but I'm here to help.

Pescetarians are often at a disadvantage in the fat intake department. We can't rely on well marbled beef or pork ribs or sausage to help us achieve our goal, and the fat in the fish we do eat is, of all things, healthy!

How disgusting. But we do have our secret weapon - dairy. This is why Vegans have such a hard time meeting their gluttony goals. What are they going to do? Chow down on wheat germ? Overload on avocados? That's no way to get a nice holday muffintop.

So despite the healthiness of the trout fat in this recipe, I think you'll enjoy the cream and cheese that make a nice thick gooey sauce and help to spread the smoky trout flavor throughout the dish. It ramps up the fat count nicely, and is incidentally, pretty damn delicious.

Pasta with Smoked Trout and Parmesan Cream Sauce
12 oz linguini noodles
1 pint heavy cream (or half and half, you wuss)
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 large cloves garlic, minced
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese or to taste
2 tablespoons fresh thyme
2 hand sized filets of smoked trout, skin removed, flaked with fork

Put on a big pot of well salted cold water, at least two quarts. Bring to a boil and add the linguini. Do not break the pasta, do not pour oil in the water. Stir lightly after the noodles finish collapsing in to the water.

As the linguini approaches al dente, where it still offers a little resistance to the bite, but has lost the raw taste, drizzle two tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet and place it over high heat until the oil is hot, but not smoking. Add the garlic and reduce to medium-low heat for about 2 minutes. The garlic should not color or burn.

Once the noodles are ready, pull them out of the pot with tongs or a pasta fork, let them drain back into the pot momentarily and add them directly to the skillet. The clingy starchy water will help thicken our sauce. Toss with the garlic and oil.

And now it's just add and mix. Add the cream to the skillet and toss. Add the cheese to the skillet and toss. Add the thyme and black pepper to the skillet and toss. Add the trout to the skillet and mix thoroughly.

Simmer over medium heat until the sauce thickens. Serve hot near a cardiologist. The fat from the trout will mix with the fat from the cream and cheese and infuse everything with a wonderful flavor.

If you want to microwave leftovers, add a splash of water (and I mean a teaspoon or less) to your container with the pasta and nuke. Make sure you aren't violating any "no fish in the microwave" rules at your office.

Posted by Barrett in Maryland at November 30, 2006 6:05 PM Print-friendly version

Hah! Here's what my pregnancy calendar has to say about the next week of our baby's development:

"Now is a critical time for your baby's brain and a good time to make sure you get enough fat and cholesterol. You need to make sure that there's some amount of real, non-hydrogenated fat in your diet. Omega-3 fatty acids, found in oily fish such as salmon, tuna, and sardines, are great for your baby's brain. Some fish may be high in mercury, however, so consider limiting your intake of oily fish to about twelve ounces a week and taking an omega-3 supplement instead. 

Also good are the fats in nuts, avocados, and olive oil -- and the fats in dairy products! So help yourself to half-cup servings of butter pecan ice cream. Try to limit your fat intake to one-third of your total daily calories."

Just in time for the holidays too! I have a similar recipe, using smoked salmon but trout sounds lovely too (though a little less pretty). Or kippers...?

oh and a suggestion for next time - I give the dish a squeeze of lemon before serving to liven the flavours a little. Or maybe I'm just constitutionally unable to leave out lemon where fish is concerned?

Posted by Meg in Paris on December 1, 2006 at 5:49 AM

Meg, I thought about the lemon treatment, but it didn't seem to want or need it. I'm sure it wouldn't have hurt at all.

Of course, I was starving when I made this dish, so maybe it was hunger-sauce filling in for the lemon.

Posted by barrett on December 1, 2006 at 8:04 AM

Meg, I was going to post and ask if smoked salmon could be substituted!! Thanks for that as it's easier found here in the ol' Chicago burbs.

Posted by Lu on December 1, 2006 at 10:40 AM

Yeesh. Talk about cholesterol and fat.

Posted by jt on December 2, 2006 at 11:54 PM

I just savoured a big bowl of carrot-ginger-coconut-soup - but this recipe makes me hungry again IMMEDIATELY! I've been wondering, how to combine smoked trout and pasta for quite a while, thanks for giving me some inspiration!

Posted by Nicky on December 4, 2006 at 7:46 AM

Yum! My son caught 5 rainbow trout yesterday which we bbq tonight. But there is only 3 of us so I was wondering what to do with all the wonderful leftovers. Now I know! Thanks!

Posted by Amy on September 1, 2008 at 10:33 PM

Pescetarians are often at a chance in the fat intake department. We can't rely on well marbled beef or pork ribs or sausage to release ourselves achieve our goal, and the fat in the fish we do eat is, of all things, healthy

Posted by Christmas Appetizer Recipes on November 23, 2011 at 2:43 AM

I love this recipe! I use it at least once a year - I wouldn't want to over do all that wonderful dairy goodness!!!
However, in trying to balance awesome taste with a little more healthiness, I've begun adding a few things. I saute zucchini and summer squash in the garlic before adding the other ingredients and after everything else I add grape tomatoes or cherry tomatoes cut to bite sizes. The veggies add some nice flavor and colors!

Posted by kt on March 21, 2012 at 6:54 PM

That looks absolutely wonderful.

Posted by Ian on April 27, 2013 at 8:03 PM
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