SMOKED SALMON PASTA (Pasta al salmone affumicato)

I was given a slab of Tasmanian smoked salmon recently, the type of brand that says grown in the pristine waters of Tasmania (there are several brands) but which fail to add that their method of farming (aquaculture) pollutes the pristine waters of Tasmania.

We ate much of the smoked salmon rolled and stuffed with herbs or plain with rye bread, horseradish and salad (green leafs or celeriac, or fennel) and I used the left overs for a pasta dish, pasta al salmone affumicato. You may still see this on some Italian menus (all over Italy);  if I go by my age, this dish has certainly been around for a long time.

Many of the recipes for this sauce include cream. I have always used good quality unsalted butter. Vodka is common, especially if it is made in the north of Italy, but more often than not I make it with white wine. Sometimes I add lemon juice and nearly always grated lemon peel.

I like to use ribbon egg pasta, for example taglierini or tagliatelle, but farfalle or penne are also common in recipes. In the north of Italy I have also eaten it with black poppy seeds sprinkled on top, my father used to say that this was the German influence.

The sauce is prepared very quickly and egg pasta does not take too long to cook.

egg ribbon pasta, 500g
smoked salmon, thinly sliced , 250g
extra virgin olive oil, ½ cup
spring onions, thinly sliced, 6-8
parsley, chopped, 1 cup
unsalted butter, 200 g
vodka or white wine, ½ cup
salt and freshly ground, black pepper to taste
lemon, juice of 1 and grated peel
Sauté  the spring onion in the oil until golden.
Add  the vodka (or white wine) and evaporate. Add the parsley and allow to soften. reduce or switch off heat.
Cook the pasta  and just before it is ready (al dente) add the salmon to the sauce (to warm), butter ( to melt) and seasoning. Switch off heat.
Dress the pasta, add lemon juice, place on a serving platter and sprinkle grated lemon peel on top.
I am pleased to find that there appears to be a source of smoked salmon, which is sustainable. The farm is reputed to grow salmon in natural conditions, without chemicals or antibiotics, using environmentally sustainable practices.