One of the virtues of salmon, besides its yumminess, is its healthfulness: Cold-water fish such as salmon are supposed to be good for promoting healthful cholesterol levels and otherwise keeping one alive and well. Another virtue of salmon is that because it is so richly flavored, a little can go a long way -- especially if the salmon is cured or smoked.
Here is a good dish to highlight that: low in cholesterol and high in flavor. Its (trans-fat-free!) creaminess, combined with the savory notes of smoked salmon, echo, vaguely, the flavor profile of cream cheese and lox. The egg-free fresh pasta recipe is inspired by one in "The Artful Vegan: Fresh Flavors From the Millennium Restaurant," a book that can best be described as vegan food porn.
Lemon-pepper fettuccini with creamy smoked salmon sauce
Serves 4 as an appetizer, or 2 as a main course
- 1 cup fine semolina
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- finely grated and chopped zest of 1 lemon
- ¼ cup water
- ¾ cup shredded smoked salmon
- 2 tablespoons minced shallots
- 2 cups unsweetened soy milk (or cream, if you're ditching the health thing)
- salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- chopped fresh dill or parsley for garnish (optional)
- Combine all ingredients. Knead on a clean surface for about 2 minutes, until the dough is smooth.
- Divide the dough into four balls. Wrap them in plastic and allow them to rest about half an hour before rolling.
- With a pasta machine, roll the dough into sheets of medium thickness, then cut them into ½-inch thick strands.
- To cook: Toss the strands into a large pot of salted boiling water and cook until tender, about 3 minutes.
- To store the pasta for later, coil the strands loosely into nests (the goal is to keep the strands fairly separate so they will dry evenly and won't stick together) and place in a well-ventilated area until they are completely dry.
- Simmer the soy milk and shallots together in a heavy saucepan, stirring occasionally, until the the soy milk has the consistency of heavy cream. The volume will reduce by about a half.
- Add the salmon and simmer until heated through. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Toss with the cooked pasta, top with optional parsley or dill, and serve immediately.