My fiance told me off yesterday for posting a recipe that I didn't really love. So here, I am redeeming myself by posting a recipe that I have used time and time again, and has made many tummies happy.
Every time I make this dish, I make it differently. I have never followed a recipe to make it, or written down measurements. I usually make it up as I go along, using whatever we have in the fridge. But a few things stay the same in this dish - the salmon, the dill and the white sauce (which is always made differently so I guess it doesn't really always stay the same, but you get what I mean).
So here is the 'basic' recipe. I've added so many different things to this basic recipe depending on what we have (Roasted courgettes? Roasted aubergine? Olives? Spinach?....). The sauce is basically bechamel, but I use some vegetable stock as well as milk, always a bit of cream cheese (and maybe some Parmesan cheese), some herbs (dried basil? dried parsley?), spices if I feel like it (nutmeg? maybe some cinnamon?), or sometimes some cream to make it extra creamy.
Or, I leave it as it is. Simple and satisfying. They all work so well.
Creamy Smoked Salmon and Dill Pasta
(Serves more people than you'll need to feed (10-12))
1 kg tagliatelle pasta
600-800 grams smoked salmon, sliced
2 medium onions, chopped
1 large bunch dill, chopped
7 tablespoons butter
6 tablespoons flour
500 ml milk
500 ml vegetable stock (you may not need all of it)
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
100 grams soft cream cheese (e.g. Philadelphia)
Salt and pepper
Cook the pasta in a large saucepan according to the packets instructions.
Whilst the pasta cooks, heat a medium sized saucepan and melt 1 tablespoon of butter. When hot, add the onions and cook on medium heat until soft. Add the smoked salmon and dill and cook until the salmon has cooked slightly and the dill has wilted, 2-3 minutes. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Transfer to a plate and set aside.
Check the pasta to see if it's cooked. If so, drain the pasta in a large colander and return it to its pan, try not to drain the pasta of all the water to keep it from drying out. If the pasta is not cooked, wait until it is before starting the sauce - otherwise you'll be stirring the sauce and forget about the pasta (like I have done on countless occasions).
Now, in the saucepan that the salmon was cooked in (trying to lessen the amount of dishes to wash!), heat 6 tablespoons of butter on low heat. When melted add the 6 tablespoons of flour and mix together until a thick paste is formed. Add the milk 100ml at a time, mixing well after each addition and adding the next addition once the milk has been mixed in and absorbed. Once the milk has been added in, start adding in the stock 100ml at a time. The paste will start to become more of a sauce. You may not need all the stock suggested - or you may need more, you're aiming for a thick-ish white sauce. Stop when you feel you've achieved your preferred consistency. Stir in the the cheese and mustard, and season with a little salt and pepper if needed.
Now add the salmon mixture and the sauce to the pasta and mix together until all the pasta is coated with the sauce and the salmon and dill are dispersed. Serve!