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Penne Alfredo, Smoked Salmon, with Basil and Fresh Raspberries

January 13, 2010
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Photo by Gerik Parmele

My love affair with salmon started many years ago.   Our family had a cabin by Lake Wallowa in Joseph, Oregon.  Dad loved to fish and Mother went along to make sure he didn’t fall in the lake or some other silly excuse.  Truth be told, she loved to fish as well.

Most early mornings were disturbed by the putter of the fishing boat as it pulled away from the dock.  We snuggled back into the warm covers knowing that “yanks” would grace our breakfast table when they returned.  “Yanks” are really Coho which are little land locked salmon which the Department of Fish and Game  keep stocked in the lake.  They are the most delicate tasting fish and are the perfect accompaniment to biscuits and gravy.

Salmon fishing also was a hot topic at our family gatherings.  Dick, my brother-in-law, is a commercial salmon fisherman in Alaska and  members of our family occasionally fished the season with him.  My husband Joe enjoyed 5 years of being a deck hand on his boat.  My reward was fresh salmon fillets carried in Joe’s luggage on his flight home.   Mind you, it wasn’t just a little Tupperware box of fillets, it was “throw out the clothes because I’m packing fish”!

So over the years Joe and I have searched for the perfect salmon dish.  We thought we had found our favorite at a wonderful little place in Northern Tuscany.   We were seated before a window overlooking the Mediterranean Sea close to sundown when the local fish  monger burst through the door.   He deposited his bucket and proudly showed off his fish.  We ordered the Penne Alfredo with Salmon and it truly was wonderful and memorable. But a few years later, it was surpassed by another find in Krakow, Poland.  It was cold and rainy and as we walked by the  Miod Malina Restauragja we noticed a warm fire in the dining room and so we went in.  We ordered the Penne Alfredo with Salmon.   Since the restaurant’s theme was raspberries, we were not surprised to see fresh raspberries garnishing the plate.  The dish was so good we returned the following night to enjoy it again.

Traveling to Poland for a dish of pasta is really out of the question so this recipe is the closest I can come to duplicating such a decadent dish.

Penne Alfredo, Smoked Salmon, with Basil and Fresh Raspberries

1 pound Salmon, Lightly Smoked*

1 Pound Penne, Dry

2 pkg. Cream Cheese (1/3 fat is fine)

2 cans Evaporated Milk

1/2 cup Butter

1 cup Parmesan

1/2 tsp. Garlic Powder or to taste

Salt and Pepper to taste

1/2 cup Fresh Basil, thinly sliced

1/2 cup Fresh Raspberries for garnish

Cook the pasta according to the box directions.  Set aside but keep warm.

Photo by Gerik Parmele

Home Smoked Salmon

*We prefer a lightly smoked salmon but grilled or poached salmon would also be yummy!  Joe smoked this salmon about 30 minutes with a small amount of hickory chips.

Make the sauce by measuring the milk, cream cheese, butter, Parmesan, and garlic powder together in a saucepan.  Heat on low and stir often.  When the parmesan has melted, season with salt and pepper to your taste.

At serving time, place penne pasta on serving platter, break large pieces of salmon over the noodles and then top with the sauce.  Garnish with fresh basil, fresh raspberries and a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. January 23, 2010 12:47 am

    I remember, Jackie. Clyde and my father loved to fish and we spent many fun moments at that cabin. Do you remember Mary’s oven? It was the finest wood burning stove/oven I have ever seen and she knew how to use it well.

    • February 11, 2010 4:34 pm

      I think you meant to answer Jaklin on your “About me” page, mom. Not that it isn’t fun just talking to yourself… but should anyone else wonder… 😉

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