This Cold Smoked Salmon Pasta Recipe is awesome for those who love cold smoked salmon. However, it’s perfect for those who love cold smoked salmon, but are apprehensive about the “rawness” of it. Here is the solution: You can make a DELICIOUS pasta dish with cold-smoked salmon. I typically like to cook some penne, and while that’s cooking, make the sauce.
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1-2 pounds penne, cooked “extra-al-dente”
1 medium onion, finely diced
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
2 sprigs fresh thyme
1 small sprig tarragon
1 bay leaf
1-2 t. crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
2 oz. sambuca (or vodka/white wine/fish stock/water)
1/2-1 C. canned crushed tomatoes (I like mine with very little tomato, sometimes only 2-3 T. tomato)
2-4 C. heavy cream
1 C. frozen baby peas
1-2 T. non-pareil capers, roughly chopped (optional)
1-2 T. pimento, roughly chopped (optional)
1 C.+ Cold Smoked salmon, broken into pieces
2 T. finely chopped fresh tarragon, parsley, chives, or any combination thereof
1-2 T. white truffle oil (optional)
1-2 T. extra virgin olive oil
Saute onions in a little butter over medium heat until translucent, 5-7 minutes.
Add garlic, thyme, tarragon, bay leaf & red pepper flakes, if using. Stir to blend everything well – the mixture will get highly aromatic.
Immediately pour in the Sambuca – STAND BACK and ignite vapors to burn off alcohol in the Sambuca, swirling the pan as the alcohol burns. You will obviously not get a flame if you use water or stock, and rarely will you get fire with wine (the alcohol content is too low).
Once the flames die down, swirl pan and watch carefully – you want to add the tomatoes JUST before the last of the liquid has evaporated. Stir well to combine, and cook most of the water out of the tomatoes.
Add the cream. Stir well to combine, turn flame to low and simmer gently, 30-45 minutes.
Adjust to desired consistency with more cream, water, fish stock, half-and-half, milk, etc.
Bring sauce to boil and immediately add extra-al-dente pasta, frozen peas, capers and pimento and stir well to combine.
After one or two minutes, check doneness of pasta (it should be perfect at this point), then add the salmon and ALMOST all of the chopped herbs, stirring just to combine.
You want to be careful NOT to break up the salmon into too many little pieces during this step. If you’re worried, just sprinkle the salmon over the top of the pasta after it is plated.
Taste and adjust seasoning with salt & pepper, if necessary (keep in mind that the salmon is salty).
Spoon into hot bowls, sprinkle with remaining chopped herbs, aged parmesan shavings and finally drizzle with white truffle oil and/or extra virgin olive oil.