Now let’s try some more of my boyfriend’s cooking – pasta with smoked salmon and caviar. Sounds posh, no? Well, it’s not 🙂 But you will make a really good impression with your friends if you put this dish on the menu!!! And it’s not an expensive dish as the name may suggest. Nowadays you can get smoked salmon and caviar at very affordable prices at any supermarket. Of course, it’s not a high-end caviar, just normal fish eggs, but still gives that extra taste!
We have tried other variations of this dish. Once we used fresh tuna – here in Malta fresh tuna is very easy to find because of the fish farms. Another time we used king prawns but always with the addition of the caviar in the end. I find that the sweetness of the fish and the cream is accentuated when you add that touch of saltiness that comes from the caviar. If you don’t find caviar or it’s too expensive, you can achieve a similar taste by using anchovies. In this case, add it to the pan together with the shallot. The anchovies will add the saltiness to the sauce the same way the caviar does.
When it comes to pasta, the best option for this sauce is short pasta like casarecce or penne. This kind of pasta “catch” the sauce much better and you want to be able to taste the delicious creamy sauce on every bite you take 🙂 And please don’t say that pasta is pasta because I have been told off several times because of that! One thing I’ve learned with my boyfriend is that the shape of the pasta is chosen depending on the sauce you are mixing it with. I still don’t know all the combinations but I’m guessing there are a lot and I have all my life ahead of me to learn 🙂
Pasta with smoked salmon and caviar
- 250 g dry casarecce pasta or penne
- 2 tbsp unsalted butter
- 1 shallot minced
- ¼ cup plus 2 tbsp crème fraîche or sour cream
- 1 tbsp finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
- 1 tsp chopped tarragon
- 100 g thinly sliced smoked salmon
- 50 g dark caviar
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add a large pinch of salt.
- Add the pasta and cook following the pack instructions.
- When ready, drain the pasta and reserve about 1/2 cup of the cooking water.
- In a large, deep pan, melt the butter over moderate heat.
- Add the minced shallot and cook over moderately low heat for 2 mins, stirring.
- Add the crème fraîche, parsley and tarragon. Stir in about half of the reserved pasta cooking water and season with pepper.
- Add the pasta and smoked salmon (flaked) and toss well.
- Add up to 2 more tablespoons of the reserved cooking water if the pasta seems too dry. Remove from the heat.
- Add the caviar reserving some for decoration and toss gently.
- Serve, garnished with the remaining caviar and chopped fresh parsley.