Sunday, August 5, 2018

Smoked Salmon Spaghetti Carbonara

Today has been a day filled with intermittent rain and sunshine.  As I sit here and type, heavy, fast rain pounds down on the roof while I sit in my office with the window open.
The combination of writing and rain is absolute bliss.

Something else that felt like bliss today was this recipe.  A few weeks back, a friend dropped by with a container filled to the brim with freshly smoked salmon.  Smoked salmon and I go way back. My Gramps tells me that when I was a child, I used to prefer smoked salmon over candy, which says a lot. It has always been my #1 favourite food. My Dad used to go fishing in Alaska, and he’d have his freshly caught salmon smoked and canned upon arriving home. He gave me his last jar a couple of years ago, and I savoured it, knowing that I wouldn’t find something that special very easily. This salmon brought me right back to my childhood.
Soon after trying the salmon that my friend brought by, I knew I wanted to make spaghetti carbonara.  Traditionally made with pancetta or even fatty bacon, I thought smoked salmon would be a fun twist... and I was right.  My husband rates this recipe at a solid 9/10, the current highest score in the running for homemade recipes. I hope you enjoy it as much as we did!
200g spaghetti noodles
salt, to taste
1 clove garlic
1.5 tbsp real butter
1/5 tbsp olive oil
2 filets smoked salmon
2 large eggs
1/4 cup finely grated parmesan cheese + 2 tbsp for garnish
Freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
Boil spaghetti noodles in lightly salted water for 8 min for al dente, 1-2 minutes more if
you like softer noodles.
Meanwhile, lightly crush garlic, keeping the clove intact.  Melt butter in a large, saucepan
over medium heat, and ad garlic.  Make sure the pan is cold when you start, so the
flavours of the garlic gently meld into the butter.  
Crumble smoked salmon and add all but 2 tbsp to frying pan.  Fry gently for about 5 minutes, or until salmon is warmed throughout and lightly crispy.   Crack eggs into a bowl, and mix in finely grated parmesan cheese. 
Once spaghetti has finished cooking, add it to the frying pan along with a bit of pasta water.  If you hear the pan sizzling, add a bit more water.   Once the pan has stopped sizzling, slowly drizzle egg mixture into the pasta, being sure to stir the pasta quickly.
The goal is to lightly cook the eggs vs scrambling them.  Your sauce should be light and creamy, with no visible bits of egg or parmesan. 
Garnish with crumbled smoked salmon, parmesan cheese, and freshly cracked black pepper.

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