Fish for Lent has whole new slant (March 9, 2011)

Salmon with LinguiniSerendipity is often the key ingredient in a great meal. 

Take our new family favorite, aptly named Irish Pasta for its tri-color combination of linguini, petite peas and salmon with brown sugar and cracked pepper.

The inspiration for this dish, presented as the first entry in The Monitor’s traditional Lenten Recipe series, was an over enthusiastic purchase of cedar plank salmon at Wegman’s one Sunday night. The salmon was entirely delicious but too much for one dinner.

Turning it into leftovers by combining it with staples already on hand resulted in a dish that is in demand on its own right. Since we need to go for speed on Friday evenings, we tweaked the original salmon preparation. One could grill the salmon on a cedar plank, but firing up the grill would take too much time. We amended the preparation for the stove.

This is a one bowl dinner that works beautifully with Italian bread and butter on the side.

Salmon with linguini
Ingredients:

  • 6 Tbs. butter
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
  • 4 salmon filets (about 6 oz each), skinned
  • 4 tsp dark brown sugar
  • 3 tsp cracked pepper
  • 1/3 cup bourbon (optional)
  • 1 lb linguini
  • 1 package frozen petite peas
  • Parmesan cheese to taste

Directions:
Prepare the pasta and peas according to package directions. While they are cooking, melt four tablespoons of the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Stir in the brown sugar and cracked pepper. Place the salmon filets on top of the mixture and cook for five minutes. Turn the salmon. That would be the time to add the bourbon if you are using it. Continue cooking for 5 minutes or until fish tests done with a fork. Set aside to cool.

In the meantime, melt the remaining butter in a second skillet, drain the pasta and add it (with about a quarter of a cup of pasta water) to the skillet along with the peas and toss.

Break the filets into pieces with a fork and add to the pasta. Toss lightly with the mixture and sprinkle Parmesan cheese to taste.

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