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Smoked Salmon Pasta Primavera

It’s Monday afternoon, my husband (a.k.a. the head chef) is out of town, and I didn’t thaw any meat for dinner. I have no idea what to make and am not feeling creative. Pinterest to the rescue!

I searched through Wiley’s Finest’s own Pinterest board of sustainable seafood recipes and found one for a smoked salmon pasta, which reminded me I had a large smoked sockeye salmon fillet in my pantry. I printed off the recipe and stopped by the grocery store on my way home to pick up the ingredients I didn’t already have.

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Ingredients:

1 pkg whole wheat spaghetti (7-8oz)

1 bunch of asparagus

1 can sliced mushrooms (4 oz)

several handfuls of fresh spinach

3-4 cloves garlic, crushed

1 cup half and half

1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese (or Asiago)

1/4 cup chicken broth (or bouillon)

8 oz wild Alaskan smoked salmon (see note)

butter, olive oil, salt and pepper

Note: You can use either a shelf stable (not refrigerated) or refrigerated smoked salmon. It is usually easier to find smoked salmon in the refrigerated section, but specialty grocery stores will usually carry a shelf stable smoked salmon. I got my 24 oz package at Costco.

Start by cooking the pasta according to package directions. Throw the chopped up asparagus into the boiling water during the last 3 minutes or so. Drain pasta and asparagus and set aside. You can add a little olive oil to prevent the pasta from sticking together.

Saute mushrooms in 1 part olive oil and 1 part butter to remove water and brown slightly. Add mushrooms to pasta and asparagus. Throw in the spinach at this point so it starts to wilt.

Melt 2-3 tablespoons of butter in saucepan and add garlic. Cook garlic for about 1 minute. Add half and half and cheese. Stir until cheese is melted being careful not to bring the sauce to a boil. Stir in broth and salmon until heated through. Pour sauce over pasta mixture, stir, and serve.

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I added spinach to the pasta at the last minute because I thought the dish needed more vegetables. I just threw some fresh spinach right into the hot pasta mixture and stirred until the leaves wilted a bit.

This makes a great weeknight meal, which can be rounded out with a side salad although I did not have the energy to make a side salad for myself on this occasion. The pasta is usually a hit with my toddler and she even ate some salmon after I threatened to take away her ice cream dessert if she didn’t eat any. Of course, once she tried some salmon she loved it and ate much more, but not enough to ruin her appetite for ice cream (smart girl, uh?). I always like it when I can move beyond grilling or pan frying fish to a recipe that doesn’t involve cooking the fish at all!