December 6, 2006
Lemon Pasta with Smoked Salmon Trim

Fish and pasta! I'm absolutely sure that no one has ever, ever thought of combining these ingredients together to make a dish. Oh wait, I did that already.

OK, so this is my second fish and pasta recipe in a short time, but I wanted to post this dish to show you that although you can make a nice cream sauce and infuse it with lovely smoked trout flavor, you can also make a light dish that relies on the fish and olive oil for most of its fat. This is a healthy dish overall and equally delicious as the trout pasta recipe we posted earlier.

You'll see a lot of similarities. Both recipes start with garlic infusing olive oil with flavor. Both add pasta and then build the sauce in the skillet. Once you've got the water boiling, you can have either dish on the table in very little time.

For budgetary reasons, I use smoked salmon trim (bits and pieces of salmon trimmed from larger pieces) which is often available in any place that does a brisk business in salmon. The trim is too small to sell as a filet, but often has as much flavor as the more expensive fish. Do watch out for dark spots, which aren't as flavorful as the rest of the fish and try to avoid buying packs of salmon trim that have too many dark blood spotted pieces. Certainly you could buy a filet or salmon steak for this recipe, but you'd just have to break up the larger piece of fish anyway, so why not start with the smaller bits and save yourself some money?

Lemon Pasta with Smoked Salmon Trim

1 box spaghetti (16 oz.)
8 oz smoked salmon trim, cut into 1" or so pieces.
salt for water
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
zest of two small lemons
juice of three small lemons
1/4 cup chopped parsley
1/2 cup plus a little grated Parmesan cheese
salt and pepper to taste

In a big pot of well salted water, cook your spaghetti until it reaches al dente. Don't add oil to the water, don't break the pasta in half, just let it cook until it's tender, but not mush.

When the pasta is approaching doneness, heat the olive oil over medium-low heat in a large skillet. Add the garlic once the oil is hot and cook for two to three minutes. Don't burn the garlic.

Reserve a cup of the pasta water. Drain and add the pasta to the skillet. Toss well. Add the remaining ingredients. and toss well. If it feels like you need more sauce, add a little of the pasta water, which will be nice and starchy and help the sauce stick to the noodles.

Serve hot in bowls.

Posted by Barrett in Maryland at December 6, 2006 7:11 AM Print-friendly version

Lydia, you didn't miss the salmon. *I* missed the salmon. I just plum forgot to put it in the list of ingredients. It's fixed now and thanks for pointing that out.

The lemon pasta by itself is pretty good, but the salmon adds good fat and protein to the dish to make it more satisfying.

Posted by barrett on December 6, 2006 at 8:16 AM

Two in one week! I'm in overload! How can I fix so many great pasta-seafood meals in one week? ;-)

Posted by Dave on December 6, 2006 at 6:04 PM

Two in one week! I'm in overload! How can I fix so many great pasta-seafood meals in one week? ;-)

Posted by Dave on December 6, 2006 at 6:05 PM

Barrett, bless you!!
Every year my lovely relatives give me smoked salmon which I never, ever eat. . .as I generally am not a fan of the stuff and my husband enjoys it with crackers and on toast. . .
what a smart use for smoked salmon, I will make sure to try it out on this year's "catch"!

Posted by Tehemina on December 26, 2006 at 8:58 PM
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