15-minute Lemony Pasta with Smoked Salmon and Kale
My writer-friend Chad made this for a working lunch for us one day, using homegrown kale from the garden at the lovely home she shares with her partner Kath, and I was immediately hooked by the strong and satisfying flavours. I demanded to know how she made it and then had it three times over the following two weeks – I couldn’t get enough of it. Since then it’s become one of my favourite ‘when your brain is still on the train’ meals. Getting off a commuter train from London is about as compatible with cooking a large meal as…er… duh…can’t think of anything smart cos my brain is still on the train. (Geddit?)
Anyway. When your inspiration is as lame as that joke, this meal will fill the gaping void.
Quantities per person:
- 80-100g (depending on how hungry you are) of any pasta you like.
- 40g or so of good kale, or cavolo nero
- 40g of smoked salmon
- zest of half a lemon OR some preserved lemon
- salt and pepper
- chilli if you want it
- a glug of olive oil
- optional parmesan to serve
Boil the pasta for the length of time indicated on the packet. While it’s boiling, cut the kale into 1 inch-sized cutting out any woody stems. Slice the salmon into strips. If you’re using preserved lemon, cut up a mange-tout-sized piece into small bits, or grate some zest from half a lemon.
1 minute before the pasta is cooked, chuck the kale in to cook along with it, then when the timer goes drain the lot, put it all back in the hot pan and pour on a glug of olive oil (a tablespoon if you enjoy measuring things). Keeping the heat low, put salt and pepper on, add the lemon zest or preserved lemon and the salmon. Fold gently in the pan so the salmon doesn’t break up too much, just make sure it’s all hot.
The salmon is cooked already (cos it’s smoked, right?) so you don’t need to over-cook it in the pasta or it’ll just go dry and be all squeaky in your mouth. Just let it get hot and lose its see-through quality.