21 July 2012

Pasta and smoked salmon

A week or so ago, I bought a shrink-wrapped package of smoked salmon at the supermarket. Yesterday, I realized we really ought to eat it. But how? Walt said he could make bagels, but that really takes a significant amount of time and effort.

The salmon I had was the cold-smoked kind — basically cured raw salmon. With some hot-smoked salmon we made a month of two ago, we had put together — improvised — a pasta dish with cream that was pretty good. This time, I went looking for a recipe.

Here I am hungry before dawn just looking at these photos...

The first recipe that popped up when I searched on Google was one by Elise, who has many great recipes and food ideas on a site called Simply Recipes. Here's a link to it and to the recipe I followed. I highly recommend it. You can't go wrong with Elise's recipes.

I had some big Spirolini pasta I wanted to use, but any pasta would be good. Otherwise, I modified the recipe only slightly. For example, I used lime zest and juice instead of lemon, because I happened to have a lime in the refrigerator. I think the lime flavor was really good with the fish. And I used just shallots (two medium) instead of shallots and garlic. Onion (one medium) would be fine too. And I put in more salmon and pine nuts (pignons de pin) than Elise's recipe called for, making the dish richer. Oh, and I added a couple of fresh cut-up tomatoes at the end too.

The smoked salmon cooked just slightly in the hot pasta
and cream — it was succulent, as we say in France.

Yesterday it rained all morning, and even in the afternoon it was too wet to do much outside. Early in the day, I went and got a haircut (merci, Madame Barbier), drove to a Monsieur Bricolage store over near Montrichard to get some special paint for radiators that I had read about, and then came home and cooked. You see the result. I went to bed early last night so here I am blogging (vacation? what vacation?) at five in the morning.


  1. You may still be blogging, but you've given yourself permission not to from time to time, so that's OK.

    We had no rain yesterday except a shower when I got up, although it threatened more all day. V. annoying - I hung the washing inside just in case.

  2. Susan, we got 6 mm of rain in the gauge yesterday morning, and we had a shower at about 4:30 p.m. too. This morning it's dry and... chilly.

  3. It was just a year ago that we dropped in on you. Our son is, once again, having a birthday barbecue at our house. This year we're staying home to babysit a bit!

  4. This sounds like a great idea, thanks for the tip on using smoked salmon in a different way. Enjoy the weekend Diane

  5. And I am so pleased you're blogging again. I really enjoy your updates and recipes. They are my little dose of France.

  6. Your changes to a recipe make it more to your and Walt's tastes. Lime is always good, but then so is lemon. I think it's my favorite ingredient.

  7. We've arrived in LP-P with some salmon from our fridge at home which really needs to be eaten today.

    Your recipe will come in handy, although I will need to improvise a little bit!

  8. Lime adds that 'je ne sais quoi' ingredient as far as I'm concerned!
    Great Idea!
    I have regular salmon in my freezer and I was thinking about some pasta for tonight's meal...ummm. Menu choice decided.
    Merci, Ken.

    Mary in Oregon

  9. Diane, I thought the salmon was really good done this way. I just put it in after the pasta was cooked and in the sauce and let it sit on low heat for a couple of minutes. The pieces of salmon were cooked but not too much.

    Carolyn and Mary, yes, lime and lemon are both good. There's something special about lime, though.

    Gaynor, improvise away! I'm sure it will be good.

    Ellen, let us know if you are coming to the Loire Valley. We're staying busy but maybe something will work out.

    Anonymous, Judy, bonjour!

  10. I'm going to try that pasta recipe with smoked salmon. It looks so yummy, especially with the pine nuts, cream, and lime!

    Thank you!

    Donna in SF


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