This year is about using ingredients that perhaps we don’t buy very often, for no particular reason other than that we have become stuck in a shopping and food rut, where we buy the same ingredients and consume the same meals repeatedly. While there is a lot to be said for the trusted, comforting regulars in our daily menus, there is also something to be said for branching out and trying something different. This doesn’t necessarily involve buying abstract or expensive food items – sometimes the easiest solutions for a fast meal are in front of us, but we never use them. Let’s ease in gently with a pasta dish incorporating the very versatile smoked salmon. This meal can slot into any day of the week.
It’s amazing how smoked salmon can make even a simple dish stylish. Generally Parmesan is not added to a fish based pasta, but this is an exception.
• 250g dried egg tagliatelle
• 300ml double cream
• 6 tbsp Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
• 200g smoked salmon, thinly sliced into long strips
• 4 tbsp torn basil, plus extra to garnish
• Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Cook the tagliatelle in a large saucepan of boiling salted water. The bigger the saucepan, the less chance there is of the pasta sticking together; it also helps to stir the pasta occasionally.
Pour the cream into a large saucepan, bring to the boil and bubble for 2-3 minutes to allow it to thicken slightly, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat and stir in the Parmesan. Season with salt and pepper.
Drain the pasta and add to the pan with the Parmesan and cream mixture, toss to coat, then fold in the smoked salmon and basil until well combined.
Divide among warmed pasta bowls and garnish with basil leaves. Give each bowl a good grinding of black pepper and serve immediately with the extra grated Parmesan cheese.
Yvonne Maffei shares a flavoursome pasta dish that incorporates tastes of the Mediterranean.