this week in our kitchen: fettuccine with asparagus and smoked salmon

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Some people prefer sweet. I tend to lean more towards savory. I can pass up a piece of candy, cake, etc., with little to no effort but put something hot, cheesy, salty in front of me and that’s where my will power gets a run for its money.

This dish combines all of the elements I love: creamy, smoky, salty. And, while the base is a bit heavier with the cream and butter, the asparagus lightens it up and adds a nice crunch to provide a welcome texture variation.

Truth be told, we made this recipe a few months ago but I can still remember the delight of my taste buds, highlighted by the deep smokiness of the salmon and finishing off the with the contrast of the dill. If you’re able, I highly recommend fresh pasta, which will provide an added bonus to the dish.


Adapted from NYT Cooking
Total time: 45 minutes / Serves 4

The What

  • 1/2 pound fresh asparagus, medium thickness
  • Salt
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/2 tablespoon minced shallots
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 4 ounces smoked salmon sliced 1/4-inch thick
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 9 to 10 ounces fresh green fettuccine noodles
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh dill

The How

  1. Snap off the ends of the asparagus where they break naturally and peel the stalks. Cut the asparagus on a slant to pieces about an inch long.
  2. Steam the asparagus until they are just barely tender and still bright green, about three minutes. Rinse under cold water, drain well on paper towels and set aside.
  3. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil for the pasta.
  4. While the water is coming to a boil, melt the butter in a large heavy skillet. Add the shallots and saute until soft but not brown. Stir in the cream and simmer about five minutes, until the cream has thickened somewhat.
  5. Cut the salmon into slivers, add it to the cream and remove the skillet from the heat. Season with pepper and lemon juice. Add the asparagus.
  6. When the pot of water is boiling, add the fettuccine, stir it once or twice, then cook two to three minutes after the water has returned to a boil. Drain well.
  7. Briefly reheat the sauce. Transfer the fettuccine to a warm serving bowl, pour the sauce over it and toss. Sprinkle with dill and serve.
  8. Enjoy!


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