It’s high Summer on the Pacific Northwest Coast. It hasn’t rained in weeks. The sun is hot and we spent the day hiking at Belcarra Regional Park about 1 hour outside of Vancouver. Shielded from the muggy, hazy air, the cooler temperature under the forest canopy was a welcome reward. Ignoring the cougar and bear siting signs, we trekked up to the summit overlooking Deep Cove and back down to the beach at Jug Island to snack on blueberries, rice crackers and hummus.
13 kms later and all I could think of was a big bowl of creamy pasta. During a visit to Bruce’s Country Market earlier in the week (http://www.bruces.ca/history.html), we picked up some of their famous salmon, double smoked on site. After snacking on it straight out of the bag if found it’s way into the drawer in the fridge so I pulled out the remaining 2 pieces and improvised this recipe that came out… OMG…really good.
The amounts will be to taste or approximate as this is the first time I’ve made this and my cooking is usually based on tasting it as it’s in the pot and adjusting so bear with me.
You will need:
- 4 cups cooked fettuccine
- 2 handfulls chopped baby spinach
- 1 cup flaked smoked salmon
- 3 Tblsp butter (1 for the cooked fettuccine and 2 for the sauce)
- 4 garlic cloves crushed
- 1/4 tsp garlic powder
- 1 3/4 cups half & half cream
- 1/2 cup chicken broth or white wine
- 4 Tblsp (or more to taste) parmesan cheese
- 1-2 T blsp flour
- Salt and pepper to taste
Cook the fettuccine according to the package, strain and butter. Set aside. You will add the pasta to the sauce once it’s ready.
Merlin insisted he needed attention at the exact time as I was cooking. He can be demanding but he’s such a sweet guy that I had to crouch down and give him snuggles and belly rubs, dragging my cooking out a little.
To make the cream sauce set the stove at medium heat and in a deep/heavy pan add the 2Tblsp of butter and once melted add the garlic and stir for about a minute. Sprinkle the flour and stir quickly as it will thicken fast. Immediately add the chicken broth (or white wine) and stir/whisk as it begins to thicken again.
Next comes the cream, stirring while you pour it in. This is where you will have to use your judgement and add more cream or broth to keep the sauce thick but not too much so.
Add garlic powder and parmesan cheese, salt and pepper. Remember that smoked salmon is salty so you might prefer to add the salmon first then salt as needed.
Add the spinach and smoked salmon and mix well. Now it was smelling so good and my mouth was watering in anticipation.
Lower heat to minimum and add the pasta, scoop by scoop, mixing to coat.
Light candles, serve immediately and top with parmesan.