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Monday, December 19, 2011

Salmon Pasta with Cathy Pegau

If today's post doesn't put you in the Christmas spirit, I don't know what will. We are headed for ALASKA!

Please welcome Cathy Pegau from the great snowy lands of the north. She is featuring a very Alaskan food that all of us should have in our pantry.

When Maria asked for an Alaskan recipe, my first offer of moose roast or stuffed moose heart was met with a bit of hesitation (not easy in an email, but Maria is an amazing writer of these as well). Not everyone, she reminded me, had moose on hand. Fair enough. So what recipe would have easily found ingredients yet an Alaskan flair?

Smoked salmon!

Living where we do, we eat a lot of salmon. A lot. It’s our main protein source, which is great for our Omega-3 fatty acid levels, but requires some imagination when it comes to varying recipes.

Salmon pasta is one of our favorites. It is, perhaps, the easiest and fastest homemade pasta dish this side of opening a jar of marinara sauce. And it definitely tastes better. We make it when we’ve forgotten to take something out of the freezer, or when DH calls on hot dog and baked beans night to tell me he’s bringing a few folks home for dinner. It’s great for those busy holiday nights when you’ve been out shopping, or if you’re looking for a dish to bring to a party.

While I realize not everyone has a couple of shelves of jarred smoked salmon in their pantry as well as pounds of it in the freezer, I’m sure it’s an ingredient most everyone can find in their nearest grocery store. Granted, I’m partial to our home smoked variety, but commercial works quite well.

Smoked Salmon Pasta
8 ounces smoked salmon
2 cloves garlic, minced
Enough extra virgin olive oil to cover salmon, approx. ½ to 1 cup
1-2 tsp. dried basil
1-2 tsp. dried oregano
1-2 tsp. dried parsley
A couple dashes of hot sauce, if desired
Salt and pepper to taste
1/3 cup Parmesan or Parm/Romano grated cheese PLUS some for sprinkling on top
¼ cup Italian style bread crumbs
Box of pasta of your choice (enough to serve 4)

While water is heating for pasta, put salmon, garlic, olive oil, herbs, hot sauce, salt and pepper in a small saucepan. Break up large chunks of salmon. Heat on medium to medium-low, stirring occasionally. Taste, adjust seasoning. You can add a bit more oil if you prefer a looser consistency, or some white wine. Once it starts to bubble, lower the heat or turn it off altogether. Cook pasta as directed. Drain. Toss pasta with Parmesan and bread crumbs. Toss again with salmon mixture. Sprinkle on more cheese. Serve with crusty bread and green salad.

The salmon mix is also great on crackers.

Let me know if you give this a try. And be sure to tell your dinner companions you got the recipe from a real Alaskan. Only you and I need to know I’m an Alaskan by way of New York ; ) 

What’s your favorite fast, easy and delish dish?

Cathy Pegau is the author of Rulebreaker, a science fiction romance out from Carina Press. Buy it here: Carina  Amazon  B&N 

Cathy is also giving away Rulebreaker and a can of Alaskan salmon (if postal regulations allow) to one commenter. So comment away, then pop over to her blog and follow her there.

NOTE: For other DIY Christmas posts, go here. All contests for the DIY posts end 12-22-11, so you can comment on any previous post.


Dru said...

ooh, I like this recipe.

Anonymous said...

Any particular reason it has to be *smoked* salmon? I'm gonna give this one a try. My family loves salmon; I think they'd love this dish.

Rula Sinara said...

That sounds delicious! We eat a lot of salmon in our house. I love anything smoked.

Stacy McKitrick said...

I lived in Alaska for a total of 3-1/2 years. I hate salmon. Too strong of a taste for my buds. I'd be more inclined to try moose (and I had buffalo/bison while I was up there and loved it).

So, if my son was born in Alaska, but only lived there for the first 6 months of his life, does that make him a real Alaskan?

Madeleine said...

Oh wow, all looks yummy. I'm hungry now.

Sarah Ahiers (Falen) said...

man, this looks delish. I definitely want to give it a try. Maybe next week.
I have family in Alaska and whenever they're down here, they bring us smoked salmon or moose

Cathy in AK said...

Dru--Thanks : )
Diane--No, it doesn't have to be smoked. The smoking gives it a bit more flavor.
Rula--We do too : ) I have several recipes I just made up on the fly.
Stacy--You and my oldest : ) We have moose sometimes too. The stuffed moose heart was delish. And sure, we'll claim your son as an Alaskan : )
Madeleine--Give it a whirl : )
Sarah--Let me know what you think. Where is your family, if I may ask?

Diane Carlisle said...

This looks yummy! I never had salmon until this past Labor Day when my sister ordered the smoked salmon. The texture was nothing like I expected and it was DElicious!

I want to try this one. Thanks for sharing!

Clarissa Draper said...

That looks so yummy!

Angela Brown said...

I love great salmon recipes. This is something I'll have to give a try.

And no...unfortunately, not sure how to go about getting any moosemeat so this recipe is great.

Anonymous said...

You've gone and made me hungry. I think this is whats for dinner tonight, if I can find some canned smoked salmon at the store.

I usually throw a salmon steak on the BBQ :)

Thanks for the recipe!

Shelley Munro said...

I adore salmon, and this sounds delicious. Our favorite "quick" meals are pasta with whatever we have in the way of vegetables with either a cream or tomato based sauce and risotto. The risotto is different every time because the ingredients depend on what we have. Dinner ready in half an hour. :)

Maria Zannini said...

That woman you see bashing her head against the wall? Yeah, that's me with NO internet. :)

Thank you, Cathy for sharing this pasta dish.

In an effort to share our cultural differences, Cathy and I exchanged her homemade canned smoked salmon for some local Texas flavors.

I can attest to the awesomeness that is smoked salmon.

You must try this recipe!

Jenny Schwartz said...

Cathy, so glad Maria tactfully suggested the difficulty of moose. I'd have just died if you'd gone the route of moose roast substitutes: "now, folks, I know not all of you southerners have a moose on hand, so just pop out and snag the first wandering critter" ... because there's no way I'm cooking kangaroo!

But smoked salmon ... now that sounds delish :)

Cathy in AK said...

Diane--It's good stuff, isn't it? I hope you get some more and give this dish a try.


Angela--Yeah, the moose was a little too out there : ) Give this a go, tho!

Raelyn--I think the only way I don't cook salmon is poached. Very versatile fish : )

Shelley--Yep! I'm a big fan of the fast and easy : ) This takes as long as is required for the pasta to cook and things to get tossed together.

Cathy in AK said...

Maria--Thanks so much for having me! I can't wait to try the Texas flavors. Oh! Texas salmon! Yummy! ; )

Jenny--Yeah, I'm not sure how well kangaroo would substitute for moose : ) I *almost* sent in a recipe for moose nose jelly (there is such a thing folks!) but figured that would have grossed people out : P

Mike Keyton said...

Cathy, this sounds excellent. My wife loathes tomatoes so it's always a challenge finding new pasta dishes sans tomato. Will try this sometime soon in the New Year

Cathy in AK said...

Great, Mike! I hope you both enjoy it : )

Sarah Ahiers (Falen) said...

They live in North Pole. It's my uncle, my two cousins and their 5 boys between them. My brother and Dad are going up there this fall for some moose hunting

Cate Masters said...

Yum, this sounds delish. I love that it's versatile too. :)
Happy holidays, Cathy!

LD Masterson said...

Oh yum. Just...yum. Maybe even yummy. I need to go to the grocery store.