Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Smoked Salmon & Courgette Pasta

I'm a bit of a pasta monster. Whenever I see unusual shapes that I haven't tried before, I gravitate towards the package like a zombie and immediately it goes into my basket. There is no stopping me, not even my over-stuffed pasta cupboard that rains macaroni down on you every time you open the door. This goes a long way to explaining why when I came back from a trip to Italy, the only souvenirs I brought back were two types of pasta. So apologies, I have no idea where to buy this shape in London; perhaps a big posh food hall? If you see it, pick it up.

Called Reginette Napoletane on the box, they are much liked a ridged pappardelle. Robust yet slippery, the ridges held the sauce of this green smoked salmon pasta sauce well. It is said that this pasta shape was dedicated to the Neapolitan Princess Mafalda of Savoy and was subsequently called Reginette (for 'little queen') or also called Mafaldine. The ribbons of ridged pasta are made to resemble lace worn on the robes of a queen.

I often make this pasta sauce when I'm in need of quick comfort food. The sauce takes as long as the pasta takes to cook which is pretty perfect for week nights returning late home from work. The courgette doesn't add much, flavour-wise - do they ever? - but they turn the sauce a pretty green colour. It's a rich but satisfying bowl, and if you can't find Mafaldine use a noodle shape like spaghetti.

Smoked Salmon & Courgette Pasta

Serves 1

130gr pasta (or less, if your nickname isn't Tubbs)
1 small courgette
2 spring onions - sliced
A handful of dill
2 cloves of garlic - minced
Half a lemon
150mls double cream
50gr smoked salmon (I use half a pack of basics smoked salmon trimmings from Sainsburys)

Set the pasta water on to boil - when it boils, add the pasta and cook till al dente. Meanwhile, grate the courgette and squeeze out all the water. In a pan, heat some oil and fry the courgette on a medium-high heat until softened. Zest the half lemon and add this in. Add the garlic and half the spring onion and cook for a further 5 mins. Add the cream and cook on the lowest heat. Chop the dill finely.

When the pasta is cooked, reserve a few tablespoons of the cooking water. Drain the pasta and add to the cream mixture tossing well with the pasta water. Add the dill and the juice of the lemon, and finally stir in the smoked salmon. Finish with salt to taste and lots of black pepper.

8 comments:

Mr Noodles said...

De Cecco do Mafaldine, and I have bought it before in London. Thing is I can't bloody remember where. I think it was on special at one of the supermarkets, either Sainsbury's or Waitrose.

However, all is not lost as Luigi's Deli in Fulham sell Mafaldine:

http://bit.ly/qLovvK

and they do mail order.

The Grubworm said...

Looks very tasty indeed, and quick too, good combo.

I couldn't say when, but a few years back i really lost my pasta mojo. And now it's gone from being a weekly, if not daily, staple to an infrequent treat. It's weird, because i still adore a good pasta. Maybe I'll give this a go to see if I can rekindle my love for the durum wheat darlings.

Gary Phillips said...

I love pasta too. One of my favourite quick meals is pasta, red pesto and marscapone.

lovefoodpinny said...

Hi,
Great post - a recipe bursting with lovely flavours! Will try making this, especially as I have a growing surplus of courgettes in the garden.

TheUrbanMum said...

When I grew up in New Zealand we called them courgettes, in Australia they are zucchini. Either way they are in season for us now and this meal is one for my table next week. x

Gourmet Chick said...

I haven't seen this shape before either. The worry is when you start getting obsessed by different coloured pasta as well and end up with all these lurid bright pink and green shapes - not so appetising. PS HK tips very welcome - you have my email I think?

Pistachio and Rose said...

This sounds like a really good simple pasta dish that I must try this evening infact as I will be coming home around 9 and was looking for a quick and simple meal to make. My younger Brother call's me tubbs as he thinks it's hilarious ( He's 25) so I will infact be using the 130grams of pasta....

Charlotte said...

I am exactly the same - got back from Sicily last week with only a new pasta shape (and olive oil) as souvenirs. My pasta shape is called bucatini (it say 'bucatini number 5' on the pack).
It's like a very fat spaghetti, and definitely going to be turned into carbonara very, very soon...