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Thursday 5 December 2013

Sluttishly Savoury: Bargainous Smoked Salmon Pasta

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)
You'll need:
  • 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
Make it!
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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!


  1. I used to make a version of this with added cherry tomatoes (roast under the grill under just about to burst then stir in when you mix everything together at the end). It was my favourite dinner on the few occasions as a student when I felt flush, or if I wanted to impress someone. I'm almost tempted to go to Tesco tonight and stock up on the ingredients.

  2. NOM! This is also pretty much identical to my comfort food salmon-staple. If I'm feeling indulgent I'll add a big lump of cream cheese in there too. Nice with a bit of crusty baguette and a side salad of rocket and thick balsamic glaze (y'know the fancy stuff that makes you feel like you're a chef) and pasta-wise Linguine all the way.

  3. I just misread step 2 as "salute the onions"... hahahahaha

  4. Would this work without the alcohol? (Useless cook here)

    1. Definitely, I don't think there was such a thing as cooking wine when I was a student!

  5. I have a similar recipe - no idea where it came from but it's a staple - one finely chopped onion, one clove of garlic, smoked salmon, frozen peas, and double cream. It's awesome...

    1. My favourite recipes are the ones you just 'have'. There's a prawn pasta recipe in the Domestic Sluttery book that's just like that - no idea how it got invented, but it's one of my favourites. Sometimes it changes a bit depending on what I've got in the kitchen, but the result is always brilliant!

  6. Looks scrumptious! This Aussie will be cooking it tonight in Germany. We need something to warm us up, it's flipping freezing here. Thanks!

  7. Fab recipe!! The whole of the office is salivating as I am eating the left-overs from last night. Thank you :)


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