‘Iffits’ Salmon & Pea Pasta

PeaandsalmonpastaThe first rule of Fightclub… No, no, sorry, wrong blog!

There’s only one rule for an ‘iffits’ dinner in my home  and that’s that you can only have it if its in the fridge, freezer or cupboards. There is no shopping for meals like this. Rather like Ready, Steady, Cook if you will but without the adhd presenter and the condescension of D-list telly ‘chefs’. Just you, your wits and your hopefully well stocked larder.Sometimes, if you’re lucky and you’ve been near the shops lately, you get a feast. Sometimes an ‘iffits’ dinner is like pasta, olive oil & garlic. But those are fine with me too.

By the way, just because you have it, doesn’t necessarily mean you should add it. I also had a slice of bacon, a red pepper, chillies, coriander and an aubergine. All of those would have made a lovely ‘iffits’ dinner  but in this dish they would have been fairly bad, I think. I would have been overjoyed  to see Courgettes, Capers, Dill or White Wine lurking in my fridge, but what I did have made a really good dinner, so feel free to shop for it. Served 2 hungry people.

I had:

  • 100g smoked salmon, shredded
  • 100g chestnut mushrooms, finely sliced
  • 100g petis pois
  • Small bunch of Spring Onions (On the turn), fairly chunky slices
  • 100g double cream
  • 300ml or so of chicken stock (made from powder)
  • Spaghetti
  • Olive Oil
  • Salt & pepper
  • Small block of Parmesan Cheese, grated.

So, I put the olive oil in a frying pan and softened the spring onions in it over a lowish heat. When they were cooked, I chucked in the mushrooms and sweated them down a bit and I think I added a little splash of the stock to help this along. When the mushrooms were cooked, I poured in the remainder of the stock and I turned up the heat. Its important to reduce the stock down by approximately half, so keep the heat up on a fast simmer and stir regularly. When it has reduced, put the spaghetti on according to the packet instructions  – mine took 10 minutes of boiling in a lot of salted water – and put the cream into the reduced chicken stock. As you should  be able to see, you’ll need to reduce this down too, so don’t reduce the heat. When it comes back up to the boil, put in the petits pois and lots and lots of black pepper. No salt, because the smoked salmon and chicken stock will be salty enough. Stir the sauce regularly whilst the pasta cooks and by the time it has, you should be left with roughly a third of the liquid you started with. If its too runny, and you don’t think it will stick to the pasta, keep reducing it. If its too thick, you can chuck in a couple of spoons of water from the pasta. Take the sauce off the heat completely. Drain the pasta and put it back into the saucepan. Put the smoked salmon into the sauce now (no earlier, you don’t want to cook the salmon, just warm it in the sauce) and give it a good stir.Pour the sauce over the pasta and toss, until mixed in thoroughly – I use a pair of tongs and a slotted spoon for that – and serve onto warmed plates. Sprinkle over parmesan. Scoff.


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