Smoked Salmon Linguine

I love salmon. It is delicate, sweet, mild and adaptable to almost every cooking method, theme, or sauce. It is easy to make and brings a touch of refinement to any occasion. It reminds me of the excellent array of Italian restaurants along the Northern California harbors, perfect for romantic winter dining among the warm glow of candles. Living in San Francisco as a teenager I did not fully appreciate the award-winning cuisine surrounding me at the time. Now when I go back I realize how much the good food there was taken for granted and dinner at the wharf or in the city is a must for everyone.

The delicately rose colored wine sauce in this featured recipe really makes the whole dish elegant, and a little goes a long way.

1 lb. Smoked salmon fillet
16 oz. tomato & basil linguine
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
4 cloves minced garlic
1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
Peeled, chopped, seeded tomato
1/3 cup dry white wine
Freshly ground pepper to taste
3/4 cup canned tomato sauce
3/4 cup heavy cream
5+ basil leaves, chopped
Pinch freshly grated nutmeg
Shredded Parmesan

Cut the salmon lengthwise into 1 inch widths. Cut each piece diagonally into 1 inch lengths.

Bring 4 quarts water to a boil in a kettle and add salt to taste. Add the noodles and bring to a boil, stirring. Cook until al dente.

As the pasta cooks, heat olive oil and 1 tablespoon butter in a nonstick skillet and add the onion, garlic, and hot pepper. After 30 seconds, add the tomato and cook another 30 seconds, stirring. Add the wine and cook about 45 seconds longer. Add salt and pepper to taste. Add the cream and, when the sauce returns to a boil, cook over high heat about 1-2 minutes. Add the basil and nutmeg, then add the salmon and toss gently.

Drain the pasta and return it to the kettle. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons butter and toss. Put the pasta on a platter. Pour the salmon sauce over the pasta and toss gently. Sprinkle with shredded Parmesan and serve. 4-6 Servings


For a milder, yet wonderfully aromatic version, try using poached salmon in wine sauce, instead of smoked salmon.

1 lb. salmon fillet, skin on
1 cup chicken stock
1 cup white wine

Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. Let cool and separate from skin. Cut and incorporate into recipe as above.

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