Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Posh Pasta

Lush is the only way to describe today's dish - creamy, garlicky pasta and beautiful fresh asparagus, topped with pan fried salmon tail and goegeous salty salmon roe. This dish is extremely rich, so serve quite small portions - and if you are serving it with other courses it would be wise to choose light, fresh tasting options to avoid the meal being too heavy. The great thing about this posh pasta is that it is so, so easy to put together. Just be sure to choose super fresh salmon and make sure your asparagus is at it's very best. (Don't try and make this when the asparagus is less than perfect - the dish relies on the quality of the ingredients to make it shine)

If salmon isn't your thing, then you could substitute scallops or prawns in this recipe. Even a combination of both would work well. This dish needs to be made just prior to serving - definitely not a make ahead or freezable option. Have everyone at the table when you start this - give them a decent glass of wine and they won't mind waiting the 20 mins or so it takes to create this delicious dish. The amounts below will serve four.

Creamy garlic and horseradish  pasta
with asparagus, pan fried salmon tail and salmon roe

You will need: 4 small pieces of salmon tail (or salmon fillet), 2 tablespoons salmon roe, 2 bunches asparagus, 4 cloves crushed garlic, 1 large white onion, about 375ml pure cream, 1 tablespoon horseradish cream, splash of olive oil, salt and pepper, dry or fresh fettuchini/spaghetti for four (depending on how big you want the serves to be)

Method: Cut the woody ends from the asparagus and slice each spear diagonally into 3 pieces. Finely chop the onion. Set both of these aside.

Bring a large pot of well salted water to the boil (you will cook the asparagus and the pasta in this, so make sure it isn't too small) Add the asparagus and allow to cook for about a minute. Remove with a slotted spoon and run the asparagus under cold water to stop it cooking any further - it should still be quite firm to the touch.

In a seperate pan, add a splash of olive oil and cook the onion for a few minutes until it is soft and transparent. Now add the pasta to the pot of boiling sallted water and give it a good stir so that the pasta does not stick together.

While the pasta is cooking, return your attention to the sauce. Add the garlic to the onion and cook gently for a minute. Be careful not to brown the garlic or it will give an unpleasant bitter flavour. Now add the cream and stir well. Bring the cream to a simmer and add the horseradish cream. Taste it and season accordingly with salt and pepper. Allow the cream to simmer until it thickens and reduces in volume to about half.

Season the salmon with a touch of pepper. Heat a frypan or grill pan and cook for a minute of two each side, depending on the thickness. Be careful not to overcook the fish or it will become dry. Set the salmon aside to rest in a warm place while you assemble the rest of the dish.

Add the asparagus to the cream sauce. Drain the pasta and toss through the sauce so that it is evenly distributed. Divide the pasta into portions, top with the cooked salmon and finish with a spoonful of salmon roe. Gorgeous.


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