While cooking up lunch last week I thought to myself, why not dress up the dining table just a little to make todays meal feel a little more special? With the result of the pandemic we pretty much haven’t had a real date night in well, 5 months? I think we just forgot about dating really with everything going on which is understandable with everything we have all been going through and adjusting to regarding the pandemic.
It’s been awhile and it’s starting to feel more important to implement them again. We normally have a lovely night out and dress up a little to go for a movie and a nice meal once every week or two, but given the circumstances that hasn’t been possible. So, with Mathieu expected to be home in about 15 minutes for lunch I thought I would very casually add some linens to the table, pull out some pretty serve ware and make lunch feel just a little more special.
This pepper mill is honestly the best I’ve ever used! I highly recommend it. Besides functionality it’s stunning un-laquered brass, and I look forward to seeing how it patinas over time.
There’s nothing particularly out of the ordinary here other than some pretty linens and beautiful serve ware. This was lunch in between work so, nothing we normally wouldn’t do aside from a little extra intention. What made it feel more special was the sentiment really. It doesn’t take a parade to show the person you love that you care! Remember it’s the little things in life, right?
This has sparked a lot of thought for me on at home date night ideas that are far from the usual movie and popcorn. We will be trying them out and I’ll have to follow up in another post on which we had the most fun with!
I asked you friends over on IG if you’d be interested in the recipe for this pasta and everyone who reached out said yes! Something positive that’s come from the pandemic is how much I’ve learned to cook with limited ingredients and how to get creative with pantry staples and create new and exciting recipes.
Salmon has been an interesting one to experiment with. One night I had a craving to make one of my favorite pasta recipe filled with sardines (I know I’ve got some of you cringing) I really love to cook them down to a paste. They offer such a rich salty delicious base to a tomato sauce! Well, anyways I was out of them. Ha! Covid.
While scouring the pantry and freezer I came across some wild salmon that Mathieu and I haven’t been huge fans of. It was totally a mis-buy when bulking up on freezer food months back and we had been avoiding using it up. I decided to try giving some life to this salmon while having pasta on my mind and experiment a little.
So I came up with this recipe. With limited ingredients and some simple thinking it surprisingly turned out to be a hit! Mathieu seems to be the most impressed by my meals when they are rushed and spontaneous. I’m blessed clearly!
A few things to note, if you don’t carry hard liquor in your home you can skip the spike. Just note that it adds another layer of flavor and when handling simple ingredients that helps! Also, garnish isn’t necessary I suppose but is a lovely addition. With the pandemic and limiting outings I know fresh herbs can feel like a luxury. I seemed to forget to top the pasta with it prior to photographing. And lastly, you can skip out on the shallots if you are short them. I know they often aren’t a staple in most families homes!
Flaked Salmon Pasta
2 Atlantic salmon filets
1 package rigatoni
heavy olive oil drizzle
6 large garlic cloves
1 teaspoon chili flake
1/4 cup vodka
1 can of tomato paste
2 cups heavy whipping cream
freshly cracked peppercorn & salt
- Begin by filling a heavily salted pot with water and set on high to boil. When ready boil your pasta al-dente and reserve some pasta water.
- Season your salmon with fresh cracked pepper and salt on both sides. In a pan pour a heavy drizzle of olive oil and grill your salmon. You’ll want to get a nice dark sear so when we flake the salmon it doesn’t break apart too much in the sauce. Remove from pan and set aside.
- Thinly slice your garlic and sauté your garlic until fragrant and tender. Add chili flake and let the oils release, this will enhance the heat from the chili flakes!
- Turn up your heat temporarily and after a few moments pour in your vodka and let the alcohol evaporate.
- Add in your can or small tube of tomato paste and whisk into the pan and season with salt and freshly cracked pepper. After a few minutes slowly pour in your heavy cream and whisk until smooth. Season again with salt & fresh cracked pepper.
- If your sauce is looking a pinch too heavy slowly whisk in some reserved starch water until you have your desired consistency.
- Fold your sauce into your pasta and then your salmon after flaking each filet.
- Finish with ribbons of basil and enjoy!
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