In order to prepare Salmon, Asparagus and Spinach Pappardelle, all you need to be able to do, is boil water and make a simple sauce. That’s in everybody’s arsenal, so this healthy pasta dish can be your next dinner in about 30 minutes.
A few issues ago, I read in Cooking Light a suggestion, what they called ‘Flip Your Pasta’; a rather simple suggestion, but oh so valuable; we should indeed flip our pasta dishes. Put the emphasis on the vegetables and not on the pasta; turn the ratio around. Vegetables/meat with pasta rather than Pasta with vegetables or whatever. Most pastas are indeed ’empty carbs’, just carbs; they don’t do us much good as healthy intake is concerned. Consequently, I called my dish Salmon, Asparagus and Spinach Pappardelle.
Pasta flipping is not only a smart move for our health, but also a smart move for our taste buds. Pasta does not have much flavor (unless it is flavored … duh..), so we add sauce or vegetables, meat, fish or any combination and create an extremely satisfying dish and that’s why we love them so much. Logically, this flipping may not work so well on the traditional Mac & Cheese, because you would be serving more sauce than pasta, or on a Cacio e pepe dish. When you make a pasta with veggies and meat/fish, you might want to consider to make it with less pasta and more veggies.
By steaming the salmon instead baking or grilling, the flavor is more delicate and does not overpower any other flavor in the dish; there is a harmony of delicate flavors.
This Salmon, Asparagus and Spinach Pappardelle has 4 major ingredients, and is very easy to prepare, especially when you have a stack-and-steam pot, but you can use a steamer basket as well. This is how you go about making the dish.
- Clean the vegetables. Cut off the bottom inch; the woody part of the asparagus stem and discard. Cut the asparagus in 2-3 pieces.
- Skin the salmon fillet, or ask your fishmonger to do that for you. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Spray the steam part of the stack-and-steam pot with cooking spray.
- Place the asparagus in the bottom part and the salmon in the steam part. Add about 1.5 inches of water to the asparagus as well as salt (the water should not touch the bottom of the steamer part). Stack the stack-and-steam pot and add the lid.
- Bring the water to a boil and cook the asparagus for max. 5 minutes. Take the asparagus out of the pan, and cool them down with ice water, to avoid that they continue to cook and become mushy. Re-stack the pot and continue to steam the salmon for another 5-7 minutes. The total time depends on the thickness of the salmon fillet.
- Cook the pasta in a separate pan according to the directions on the packaging and drain (reserve some of the pasta water).
- Use the pasta pan to make the sauce; soften the garlic in butter, sprinkle with the flour and cook for about 1 minute. Add wine, cream and salt and pepper to taste and cook until sauce coats the back of your spoon.
- Add pasta and asparagus to sauce and mix. Add some pasta liquid if needed. Then add spinach and salmon and mix again. During the last mix, you will need to divide the salmon in smaller pieces, so you can have a consistent dish. Alternatively, you can serve the salmon on top of the Asparagus and Spinach Pappardelle.
Salmon, Asparagus and Spinach Pappardelle
- 2 ounces pappardelle pasta
- 1 pound salmon fillet
- 8 ounces asparagus
- 2 ounces baby spinach
- salt and pepper
White Wine Sauce
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 teaspoon all-purpose flour
- 1 clove garlic
- 1/4 cup white wine
- 1/4 cup cream
- salt and pepper
- Rinse the asparagus and cut off the bottom inch, the woody part of the stem. Then cut the stems in 2-3 pieces.
- Transfer asparagus to the bottom part of a stack-and-steam pot and add about 1.5 inches of water (the water should not touch the bottom of the steamer part). Add salt to the water.
- Skin the salmon fillet, using a thin, flexible knife. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Spray the bottom of steamer part of your pot with non-stick spray to insure easy release of the fish. Place the salmon in the pot and place the pot on top of the bottom part. Place the lid on the stack.
- Bring the water to a boil, turn the heat to medium and cook the asparagus for approx. 5 minutes. Use a slotted spoon and take the asparagus out of the water and cool them down. Place the stack back on the stove and continue to steam the salmon for another 5-7 minutes. Total steaming time all depends on the thickness of the fillet.
- In a separate pan, boil water and salt for the pasta and cook according to the direction on the packaging. Drain the pasta and reserve some of the pasta water for the sauce.
- In the pasta pan, soften the garlic in the butter. Sprinkle with the flour and cook for about 1 minute. Add the white wine and the cream and cook until the sauce coats the back of a spoon. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Add the pasta and the asparagus to the sauce and toss to coat with the sauce. Add some pasta liquid if needed.
- Add spinach and salmon and mix again. Mix carefully and cut the salmon while mixing, but don't make it mushy, just smaller manageable pieces that can be mixed and become part of the pasta dish and not be on top of the pasta dish.