When I saw the asparagus at the farmers market this week I knew it was time to make one of my favorite spring dinners. This is one of my mom’s recipes. Actually I think it started out as just fettuccine and asparagus, but then all of a sudden one night it had salmon in it. It is very delicious either way. And it always seems to be easier and quicker to make than I remember it to be.
- 1/2 pound penne pasta
- 1/2 pound asparagus (look for skinny ones)
- 1/2 pound wild salmon fillet*
- 2 cloves garlic
- olive oil
- salt and pepper
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 cup heavy cream
- juice of half a lemon (or a whole lemon if your lemon is on the smaller side)
Break off the tough bottom parts of the asparagus. If you hold the bottom of the stalk in one hand and the middle in the other hand and bend it, the tough part will snap off in just the right place like magic. Put the asparagus in a baking pan and pour a little olive oil over it. Crush a clove of garlic on top and add few grinds of pepper and a little salt. Roll the asparagus around in the pan so that everything gets well coated. The salmon gets more or less the same treatment. Place the salmon in a pan, skin side down. Crush a clove of garlic on top, a little salt and pepper and a splash of olive oil. Rub it all in a little. Bake them both at 450 degrees until the asparagus is tender and the salmon is just cooked through. The asparagus will take about 15 to 20 minutes, the salmon will take about 10. Meanwhile, cook the pasta.
When the asparagus is done, cut it into one to two inch pieces. Break the salmon up into bite size hunks with a fork. Once the pasta is cooked and the asparagus and salmon are done, make the sauce. It only takes a minute. Melt the butter in a small sauce pan. Then add the cream and bring to a simmer over low heat. Stir in the lemon juice. That’s it. Combine the pasta and asparagus in a large bowl. Pour the sauce over it and toss well. Then add the salmon and toss gently so that the hunks of salmon stay relatively intact.