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.
FETTUCCINE WITH ASPARAGUS AND SMOKED SALMON
Adapted from NYT Cooking
Total time: 45 minutes / Serves 4
- 1/2 pound fresh asparagus, medium thickness
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil for the pasta.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Briefly reheat the sauce. Transfer the fettuccine to a warm serving bowl, pour the sauce over it and toss. Sprinkle with dill and serve.