One of my favourite changes brought about by Flex was that salmon, one of my favourite fish, became 0sp. I’d always eaten a lot of salmon anyway but, since the change, I’ve been using it in ways I may have avoided a little before, such as here with pasta and a creamy sauce.
This recipe came about one Saturday night when I wanted to make a quick and easy dinner with the ingredients I had in the fridge/store cupboard. I threw them all into a plastic bag, headed to my sisters and freestyled to see what I could come up with. The result was the delicious pasta dish which we both thoroughly enjoyed (I could have quite happily licked the bowl!).
If you wanted to be a bit more fancy, you could replace the light cream cheese with mascarpone but this would make the dish 13sp per serving, or you could use half and half which would make the dish 11sp per serving. If you want to speed things up a little, you could cook the salmon in the oven whilst you get on with the sauce, however the way I’ve done it below means you get to fry the breadcrumbs in the lovely salmon juices so they soak up all the flavour.
The best thing about this dish is that it uses just 2 salmon fillets which stretch out beautifully to four filling meals. Whether you are cooking for your hungry family, or you want left overs for lunch for you and your other half, this recipe is the perfect one to try out.
Creamy Salmon Pasta with Herby Breadcrumbs
Serves 4 = 9sp per serving (Flex)
2 x salmon fillets, raw and seasoned with salt and pepper
220g tagliatelle, dried
For the breadcrumbs
30g panko breadcrumbs
10g parmesan, finely grated
Zest of 1 lemon
Small handful of parsley, finely chopped
For the pasta sauce
1 white onion, peeled, halved and finely sliced
3 roasted red peppers, halved and finely sliced
1 tsp garlic, finely chopped
3 tsp sun dried tomato pesto
1 x 400g tin of chopped tomatoes
½ tsp crushed chillies (if you like a kick)
½ tsp cayenne pepper
100g light cream cheese
20g parmesan, finely grated
Large handful of fresh parsley, finely chopped
Juice of ½ a lemon
Pop a large frying pan onto a medium heat, spray with 1kal and then add the seasoned salmon, skin side down. Fry for 3-4 minutes until the skin starts to crisp and then turn over. Continue to fry the salmon until it is cooked nearly all the way through. Remove the salmon from the pan and pop onto a plate to one side.
In the same pan that you cooked the salmon, add the breadcrumbs, parmesan, lemon zest, parsley and season with salt and pepper (don’t wash the pan out – you want all the nice juices from the salmon to soak into the breadcrumbs). Mix everything together and then fry on a medium heat for 4-5 minutes until the breadcrumbs are a nice golden colour. Pop the breadcrumbs into a bowl to one side.
Finally, in the same (now empty) frying pan, spray again with 1kal and add the onion. Fry for a few minutes (add a splash of water if the onions start to stick) and then add the peppers and garlic. Fry for another minute and then add the pesto, chopped tomatoes, crush chillies and cayenne pepper. Remove the skin from the rested salmon and then, using the back of a fork, squish the salmon so it flakes nicely. Add the salmon to the sauce and stir through.
Pop the tagliatelle on to cook at this point.
Simmer the sauce for 5 minutes and then add the cream cheese and parmesan. Simmer for another 5 minutes (make sure the heat is not too high or the cream cheese might curdle), stirring regularly. Finally add the parsley and the juice of ½ a lemon. Stir and season to taste with salt and black pepper.
Finally, using plastic tongs, lift the taglitelle out of the pasta water and add straight to the sauce pan. Stir the pasta into the sauce so it is well coated and add a splash of pasta water if the sauce needs to be loosened a little. Add half of the breadcrumbs to the sauce pan, stir and add the other half of the lemon juice.
Pop into bowls and top with the remaining breadcrumbs.