Creamy Salmon & Asparagus Fettucine with Goat’s Cheese

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This is not a very good photo. As it turns out, the most difficult part of having a food blog is taking good photos of the food. Action shots of wildlife? Easy. Good photo of stationary pasta? Not so much. Luckily I’m not afraid of a filter, or significant cropping and editing. Anyway, don’t let the photo put you off – this pasta is SUBLIME. I don’t make pasta very often, particularly in summer, but this is going to be the exception to the rule. “Fish, with pasta?!”, you might gasp in horror. But you are wrong, and this pasta is everything right. It’s creamy, lemony and light – and it has fresh salmon! If that’s not reason enough, I don’t know what would be. And as an additional bonus, you get to test afterwards whether you have asparagus pee. (Interesting note: some people have it, some don’t, but some people also can’t smell it, whether or not they do. What a fascinating puzzle.)

Creamy Salmon & Asparagus Fettucine with Goat’s Cheese

– adapted from Woolworths Taste magazine

500g fresh salmon
170g thin asparagus, chopped into thirds
100g chevin goat’s cheese
200g fettucine
1 tblsp honey
2 tsp soya sauce

Sauce:
zest of 2 large lemons
1 clove of garlic, crushed
2 tsp brown sugar
125g creme fraiche
1 tblsp fresh lemon juice
120ml chicken or vegetable stock

This pasta has three parts, so if you are entertaining, you can do the component parts beforehand, then just pop into the kitchen and toss everything together 5 minutes before you want to eat.

Cook the fettucine in a pot of boiling water until done, drain. This can take anything from 5 to 15min, depending on the type of pasta you have. Place the salmon fillet on baking paper on a baking sheet. [If the salmon has skin on one side, have the skin side facing up. Turn on the grill (upper element) of your oven as high as it will go. Drizzle a little olive oil on the salmon skin. Once it’s hot, put the salmon in the oven, right up under the grill. After 2 or 3 minutes, you’ll hear the fat in the skin start to ‘pop’ – this is your cue to take it out. Gently loosen a corner of the skin, and grab hold of it securely (you might want tongs for this) – then just peel the whole thing off and throw it away. It should peel off effortlessly.] Now rub half the soya sauce and honey on the exposed side of the salmon, and return to the grill for 2-3 minutes. Turn the salmon over, rub with the remaining honey/soya, and grill for another 2 minutes. Remove from the oven, and cut the fish into chunks (still on the baking sheet). Season generously with salt and pepper. Combine all the sauce ingredients in a small saucepan, bring to the boil, and simmer for a minute or two. Stir fry the chopped asparagus in 1 tblsp olive oil for 1-2 minutes – don’t overcook! Toss the sauce and asparagus through the pasta, then add the chunks of salmon and goat’s cheese (slightly more gently, so they don’t become mush). Serve in bowls.

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