Friday, January 6, 2012

Farfalle with Salmon and Asparagus

My husband is a fish person. Almost without fail, every time we go out to eat he gets something fish related. While I enjoy fish, I do so sparingly. It took me a solid 8 months of marriage before I would even attempt to make fish at home. My first attempt was successful and broke the ice to us eating fish semi-regularly (not as much as Hunter would like though). This dish is one that satisfied both of us, and one we will definitely have again. If I can find more recipes like this one, his dream of fish every week or two might become a reality.

The asparagus becomes almost creamy, the pasta is al dente, and the fish flavor makes for a well rounded meal. The fishy flavor isn't at all overpowering and is almost nonexistent.  The dijon mustard and olive oil brushing compliment the salmon nicely.

If you are afraid of fish, don't be! This is a yummy recipe that is bound to please. 

Yield: 4-6

1 lb Asparagus
Kosher salt for cooking asparagus and pasta
6 tbsp olive oil, plus more for brushing
2 bunches green onions, including 3 inches of green tops thinly sliced
Generous pinch of red pepper flakes
2 lb skin-on salmon fillet, cut into 4-6 pieces
2 tbsp Dijon Mustard
Salt and pepper
1 lb farfalle

Positions a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat to 450 degrees.

Trim off the tough ends of the asparagus then cut crosswise into 2 or 3 pieces, keeping the tips intact.

In a large pot, bring 5 qt water to a boil. Add 2 tbsp kosher salt and the asparagus and boil until almost tender, about 4 minutes. Just before the asparagus is done, in a frying pan large enough to accommodate the pasta later, warm the olive oil over medium heat. Stir in the green onions and red pepper flakes. Scoop the asparagus out of the water and add to the pan with the green onions. Toss the ingredients together and saute until the asparagus pieces are tender, 1-2 minutes. They should not be crunchy. Remove from the heat and cover to keep warm. Reserve to water in the pot.

While the asparagus is cooking, place a baking sheet on the lower rack in the oven. Brush the flesh sides of the salmon evenly with the dijon mustard and then the olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Carefully place the salmon pieces, skin side down on the baking sheet. Roast until the thickest part of each piece is opaque at the center when cut into with a paring knife, about 12-18 minutes, depending on the thickness of the fish.

While the salmon is cooking, return the reserved water to a rapid boil, add the pasta, and stir well. Cook, stirring occasionally, until al dente. Drain the pasta, add to the sauce in the pan, and toss until well combined.

Serve immediately.

Source: slightly adapted from Williams Sonoma, The Pasta Book, page 93

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