To whip up this simple and super delicious cold smoked salmon pasta, all you need to do is cook the pasta and asparagus, and mix with the rest of the ingredients! A perfect quick lunch for springtime!
Today it hit me. SPRING FEVER! No, I don’t mean any real fever, but the giddy excitement one gets at the first sight of spring! After living in darkness for several months, the increasing amount of sunlight literally makes me woozy. Not sure if “spring fever” is a good translation, but what I’m talking about is a real thing up here in the North!
So yesterday as I was walking home from work, spring fever took me. The bright sunlight and the snow and ice melting all around me made me laugh out loud, and to top it off, I found green asparagus at the store! Asparagus season has certainly not begun yet, but I couldn’t resist to carry a bunch home. Immediately I knew what I’d be making with it: cold smoked salmon pasta!
Cold smoked salmon pasta
Last time I whipped up this simple and quick pasta was right after Christmas! I had leftover cold smoked salmon and roe in my fridge that needed using. To complete the dish I added creme fraîche, lemon zest and juice + dill (which I also happened to have around). Then you literally just mix the ingredients! Decadently delicious, OH SO SIMPLE … and all the other clichés. This dish gets ready in no time and since i was famished by the time I got home, it’s just what I needed.
Since the asparagus gets cooked in less time than the pasta, the dish is done by the moment pasta is done. I actually cooked the asparagus in the same pot with the pasta! I simply added it in at the last minutes. A safer bet however is to steam it on top of the boiling water – or to cook it in a separate pot. Instead of dill i added in lots of fresh tarragon, but chervil and watercress would be lovely herbs in here too!
Combine ingredients – mix – cold smoked pasta is done!
A word on salmon
Salmon is delicious and full of good fats, and I love it. However, salmon farming is not devoid of issues: the salmon farms at coastlines may spread diseases and pollution from poorly managed and unsustainable seafood farms, has caused the deterioration of coastal habitats, lakes, and rivers (read more at WWF).
I always choose the fish that I buy based on the recommendations from the WWF fish guide! It’s a simple guide and you can also get it as a mobile app! Here in Finland that means that when shopping for cold smoked salmon, I opt organic – or locally farmed rainbow trout. Fish from farms with the ASC certificate would also ge a good choice! You can find the WWF fish guide for various countries behind this link as well as this link!
Cold smoked salmon pasta with asparagus and lemon
- 150 g green asparagus
- 150 g pasta of your choice
- 100 g cold smoked salmon
- 1 spring onion (green part)
- 2 dl creme fraîche
- ½ lemon
- dill/tarragon/chervil/watercress (a handful)
- freshly cracked black pepper (to taste)
- 1-2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- n. 1 tbsp lemon zest (finely grated)
- 2-3 tbsp salmon roe
- To get a bit of a different flavor profile, you can try adding in some freshly grated horseradish or garlic. If you're into asian flavors, a bit of yuzukosho or shichimi togarashi would also work wonderfully, especially with shiso or wasabi arugula!
- There is likely no need to add salt to this pasta, since the salmon and roe are already quite salty and pasta is cooked in salted water. Taste the pasta and add salt if you think it needs it!
- You can serve this pasta also cold!
- Bring a large pot of water to boil and season with salt to your desired saltiness. Check the cooking time of the pasta you are using and set a timer if you need it. Then you can start prepping the other ingredients!
- Wash the asparagus and snap of the woody ends. Cut the asparagus to 2-3 cm pieces. Steam the asparagus on top of the boiling pasta water (a sieve that fits your pot works well) or cook the asparagus in a separate pot of salted water. Depending on the sizes of your pieces, the cooking time is likely 3-5 minutes. Don't overcook the asparagus!
- Finely mince the green part of a spring onion. Wash the lemon well and finely grate its zest. Cut two lemon wedges for serving. Separate the pieces of cold smoked salmon and cut to narrow strips.
- When pasta is perfectly al dente, drain out the water. Add the cooked asparagus to the pot, along with creme fraiche, cold smoked salmon, spring onion and a handful of herbs of your choice. Add a few tablespoons of salmon roe, half of the lemon zest and a squeeze of lemon juice. Season with freshly cracked pepper to taste.
- Mix all the ingredients well and divide in two bowls. Drizzle some extra virgin olive oil on top and garnish your cold smoked salmon pasta with salmon roe and the remaining lemon zest. Serve immediately with a lemon wedge!