Alaskans far and wide have long been enjoying and debating their favorite salmon smoking methods and recipes. Once the salmon is caught, prepped, brined and has spent many long hours in the smoker, then it's time to discuss our favorite ways to enjoy our precious smoked fish.
While I never tire of waking up to a toasted everything bagel slathered with cream cheese and topped with smoked wild Alaska salmon and green onions with a generous squeeze of lemon, I also enjoy smoked salmon as the star protein at dinnertime. Fat Ptarmigan restaurant in Anchorage carries a smoked salmon pizza that is really well done. And down in San Diego, right along the water in Point Loma, Pizza Nova makes a delectable signature pasta featuring smoked salmon, capers, tomatoes and green onions in a subtle cream sauce. I've attempted to pay homage to that dish here with my own version.
Smoked salmon pasta in garlic cream sauce
Yields 2-3 servings
8 ounces fettuccine noodles
2 tablespoons butter
1 1/2 cups half-and-half
3 cloves garlic, minced
8 ounces smoked salmon, flaked
2/3 cup green onions, sliced on the bias
2 tomatoes, seeded and chopped
2 tablespoons capers, rinsed and drained
Shaved Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon fresh lemon zest
Sea salt and pepper to taste
1. Put a pot of water to boil over high heat. Salt generously. Cook fettuccine until it's al dente according to the package directions. Drain.
2. While the pasta is cooking, melt the butter in a saute pan over medium heat. Add the garlic and stir until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the cream, reduce heat to medium low, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Simmer and reduce, stirring often, while the pasta is cooking.
When the pasta is drained, toss it with the garlic cream sauce. Distribute the fettuccine evenly in pasta bowls. Top each bowl of pasta with generous amounts of smoked salmon, green onions, and tomatoes. Finish with capers, parmesan cheese and lemon zest on each. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve promptly.
Maya Evoy lives in Kenai and blogs about food at alaskafromscratch.com. Have a food question or recipe request? Email email@example.com and your inquiry may appear in a future column.