Smoked salmon and sauteed spinach are the highlights of this quick and easy-to-prepare pasta dish. The shallots, garlic and vegetable stock make for a light, flavorful base, while the chili pepper adds a nice level of heat to the final dish. Because this dish doesn't involve much preparation or fuss, it is a great candidate for a quick weeknight dinner. If you have it available, using homemade vegetable stock will give the liquid a more complex flavor. Also, if you are able to use fresh-made fettuccine, enjoying this dish can be a whole new experience since the light vegetable liquid will cling better to fresh, laminated pasta than it does to dried, extruded pasta.
1/2 pound fettuccine or other wide-noodle pasta (e.g., tagliatelle, pappardelle)
4 oz. smoked salmon, cut into bite-sized pieces
2 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 shallot, finely diced
1 small red chili pepper (e.g., thai or red jalapeño), finely diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
5 oz. baby spinach leaves
3/4 cup unsalted vegetable stock
1 Tablespoon unsalted butter
Salt and pepper, to taste
YIELD: 2 servings
- Warm two serving bowls (e.g., in a low heat oven). Keeping your serving bowls warm will prevent the finished dish from cooling off too quickly.
- Start the pasta by adding enough water to a large pot and bringing it to a boil. While the water is heating, continue with the remaining steps.
- Heat a large pan over medium heat. Add the olive oil, followed by the shallots and a pinch of salt. Cook for a few minutes until the shallots start to soften.
- Add the chili pepper and cook for another 2 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until it becomes fragrant (about 30 seconds - 1 minute). You don't want the garlic to burn.