Where has this dish been all my life?! Why did it take me so long to create such a simple and elegant supper that I can throw together for my family in 30 minutes and feel confident enough to serve for a last-minute dinner party? This one takes the cake when it comes to versatility and sophistication! I love how the salmon melts into the pasta and the saffron cream coats every noodle so that every bite is a burst of flavors that leaves you wanting, well, a bigger fork! My husband walked in the door after work and looked at me and said "My God! What is that amazing smell!?" he took one bite and melted into his chair! I’ll take that as one of the best compliments I could ever receive!
*This dish uses 3/4 of a bag of dried pasta which can be bit annoying, I know, but I like to use the leftover past for soup. I always have handfuls of different pasta shapes in wrapped up bags lying around my pantry for when I feel the desire to whip together some homemade soup.
Serves 4 hearty bowls or 6 smaller portions
Bring a large pot of heavily salted water to a boil and cook the pasta according to package directions to al dente.
While the pasta is cooking, season the salmon with a ½ tsp of the salt and some fresh ground pepper and set aside.
In a large skillet (large enough to add the pasta at the end) melt the butter over medium heat until it starts to brown a bit and smell toasty and nutty. Be careful not to burn the butter, it happens quickly. Add the leeks and the other ½ tsp salt and pepper to taste. Sautee until the leeks start to melt into the butter and brown slightly, about 3-5 minutes. Add the vermouth and the saffron and simmer until the vermouth is reduced by half, about 3 minutes. Add the chicken stock and the cream and bring to a simmer. While you are waiting for the sauce to simmer, cube the salmon fillet into 2-inch large chunks.
Add the Salmon cubes to the simmering sauce, cover and cook over medium low heat for 2-3 minutes. Uncover and turn the salmon cubes. Layer the spinach on top of the salmon and cover for another 3 minutes, or until the spinach has wilted a bit. Uncover and stir everything together. Add the pasta and stir, breaking up the salmon a bit as you go. Be gentle, you don’t want to break apart the salmon pieces too much. Cook for a few minutes longer, allowing the flavors to mingle. If the pasta starts to appear dry, add some of the reserved pasta water to loosen it up. Top with the chopped chives and serve.
This delightful sauce is incredibly versatile for just about any type of seafood! Its tangy, salty and slightly sweet. Kind of, sort of a tarter but with much more oomph! Serve it up alongside some peel and eat shrimp, drizzle it over grilled fish, or one of my favorite ways to use it, spread generously as a condiment for a fish sandwich! It’s perfect for summertime! You'll be scooping spoonfuls of this stuff onto your plate.
Serves 4 generously
1/2 cup Mayo
1/2 cup Sour Cream
Juice from 1 lemon
1 T Dijon Mustard
1 T Whole Grain Mustard
1 T Capers, drained
4 Bread and Butter Pickle Slices
2 Large Scallions, white and light green parts chopped in large pieces
2 tsp Agave
A handful of fresh dill
A handful or Fresh Cilantro
Fresh Ground Pepper to taste
Add all the ingredients to a food processor and pulse until everything is well combined and the herbs and scallions are chopped finely. Taste for seasoning. I generally never feel it needs salt due to the pickles and capers, but if you think it needs some then add a little pinch. You can also tinker with the tang, if it's too sour for your taste, add a bit more mayo. Transfer to a serving bowl and chill until ready to use. You can also make this a day in advance, I find that it can be even better the next day!