This was originally my mothers recipe and I loved it so much as a wee child I ended up adopting it as my student comfort food of choice for those not-so-good-days that come after amazingly-good-nights. 'But smoked salmon?; I hear you cry. 'As a student? Did you fritter away your student loan on truffles, caviar and Kobe beef too?!' Don't be silly (it went on books, alcohol and computer games mostly) smoked salmon can most certainly be a very affordable ingredient, especially if you're cooking it and you don't need it to be presented in perfect little folds on top of canapes.
The secret is to buy smoked salmon trimmings, these are a cash strapped cook's best friend, all the flavour at a fraction of the price, and pretty much every supermarket has a basics no frills range that contains this magical ingredient. The rest of the core ingredients are cupboard staples and you can fancy it up (perhaps with some brilliant homemade gnocchi?) or simplify it down as much as you want.
Smoked Salmon Pasta (makes 2 servings)
- 150g pasta in any shape you like
- one small onion finely chopped
- 2 cloves of garlic crushed
- 240g smoked salmon trimmings
- glug of white wine (or gin or whisky also work brilliantly with this dish, whatever you have to hand)
- squeeze of lemon (optional)
- pinch of smoked paprika (optional)
- 200ml sour cream
- lots of black pepper
- Get a pan of salted water boiling for the pasta, if you're using dried then pop it in at the beginning, if you've got fresh pasta then hold off to the last few minutes to cook it.
- Saute the onions over a medium heat in some oil (you can add a knob of butter for a little extra flavour if you like) for about 6 mins before adding the garlic. Cook for a further few mins.
- Throw in the salmon and stir so it starts to get cooked through - the beauty of trimmings is they're already all chopped for you.
- Once half the salmon has turned white, pop your glug of desired alcohol in and let it reduce for a few mins, adding the lemon juice and paprika if using.
- When the liquid has reduced add the sour cream and raise the heat slightly so the sauce begins to bubble a little, keep stirring constantly for about 5-8 mins and take off the heat.
- Drain your cooked pasta and put it back in the saucepan, pour the creamy salmon sauce over the top and mix thoroughly so every bit of pasta gets coated. Throw in a load of black pepper and give it one last mix before portioning out into one giant bowl for yourself because this dish is way too good to share!