Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Salmon, fresh or smoked, with asparagus and tagliatelle

Salmon, fresh or smoked, with asparagus and tagliatelle
Serves 4-6

Last night I made a variation of a meal that I love, which normally has smoked salmon, tagliatelle and asparagus and is only 520 cal, or 2183 kjs per serve. Instead of the smoked salmon I substituted poached salmon which was beautiful but required some extra herbs and seasonings to give it the burst of flavour that the smoked salmon provides. We are now needing to consume so much omega-3, but honestly I don't take fish tablets, and I need a variety and tasty meals using fish, particularly oily fish like salmon. This recipe requires herbs and you can use what you have that go with fish, but I think the mint is very necessary.

200g smoked salmon, cut into strips or 3-4 nice fillets of fresh salmon
375 g dried or 500 g fresh tagliatelle
2 large bunches or 400 g asparagus trimmed and cut into 5 cm lengths
2 leeks, white part only, rinsed and finely sliced
1 cup salt-reduced chicken or vegetable stock (extra 500ml stock if poaching fresh salmon)
3 garlic cloves, crushed
1 1/2 cups, (235 g) frozen peas, fresh if you have them
1 tablespoon finely chopped mint (if you really like it add more like I do)
3 tablespoons finely chopped chopped parsley, plus extra to serve
a very large handful of shredded basil, plus extra to serve
dill (optional)
tarragon (optional) , quite strong so be careful
pinch nutmeg ( I like it grated fresh), smells wonderful
2 tablespoons grated fresh parmesan cheese, plus extra to serve
1 tablespoon olive oil

Let's cook:

Cook the tagliatelle in a large saucepan of boiling water until al dente. Drain well.

If using fresh salmon, set it to poach slowly in a separate deep pan in simmering chicken stock with slices of lemon and added herbs for about 10 mins or until cooked but still firm.

Put the leek and half the stock in a large, deep frying pan. Cook over low heat, stirring often for 4-5 minutes. Add and stir in the peas, mint and garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the remaining stock and 125 ml (1/2 cup) water and bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes.

Stir in the fresh asparagus, parsley and basil and simmer for a further 3-4 minutes, or until the asparagus is just tender, and still crisp. You can gradually increase the heat so that the sauce reduces to a light coating consistency. Gently stir in the grated nutmeg, parmesan and smoked salmon or sliced cooked salmon,  and add a good grind of black pepper.

Gradually add the pasta to the sauce and toss lightly to coat. Serve lightly drizzled with the olive oil, and scattered with a little extra grated parmesan and chopped parsley or basil or whatever you prefer.

There are always leftovers which are delicious heated up the next day.
Luckily I have basil, parsley, tarragon, mint and dill growing prolifically in my garden so I use whatever I wish. Sometimes I add a fresh chilli from my garden depending on who will be eating it. We love it.

I'm sure lots of other flavourings could be used in this dish. Any ideas?

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