I’ve turned a dish that usually includes bacon- pasta carbonara- into a smoked salmon pasta carbonara. Being me I also had to add some herbs and veggies.
Last winter I stocked up on Kasilof wild Alaska smoked salmon. It’s a great last-minute potluck item to bring to a party and the Alaska salmon fishery is sustainable and well-managed. Now it’s spring and the salmon are running again. Time to pull out last season’s smoked salmon and make something good.
To make this vegetarian I’d use tempeh– there actually is smoked bacon-flavored tempeh, though I’d probably use plain tempeh and add smoke flavor myself. Of course there’s always veggie fake bacon, though I haven’t found one as natural as I would like.
- ½ cup fresh basil, chopped
- ½ cup chopped chives
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 4 free range eggs, cracked, yolks and whites whisked together. If pasteurized eggs are available, they are preferred for this recipe.
- 1 lb. pasta, wheat or gluten-free
- 3 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 cup frozen peas
- ½ cup hot cooking water from the pasta
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 lb. smoked wild Alaskan salmon, crumbled into small pieces (I used Kasilof)
- Prepare ingredients. Chop basil, chives, garlic. Break eggs and whisk in a bowl.
- Bring water to a boil in a large pot and begin to cook pasta.
- In a large, shallow pan, cook garlic in olive oil, keeping heat on the lower side to avoid burning the garlic.
- When pasta is halfway done, add frozen peas.
- When pasta is al dente, take a little water from the pot and quickly whisk it into to the bowl of eggs. In theory, this will keep the eggs from scrambling later when you add them to the hot cooked pasta.
- Drain the pasta/pea mixture.
- Add pasta/pea mixture to the pan with the hot olive oil/garlic mixture, stir with heat still on for a couple of minutes. Add the salmon near the end and stir it a little to get it warm.
- Add basil, chives, and salt and pepper to taste.
- Turn off heat.
- I’m giving two methods for adding the eggs. The first is to add the egg mixture to the pan, stirring it into the hot pasta. The eggs will cook with the warmth of the hot pasta and pan. In theory, they will not turn into scrambled eggs. In practice, I have worried about egg safety and continued stirring for several minutes, and during that time some bits of defined cooked egg have developed. None of my diners has minded that. If you wish to avoid that, stir the eggs in for only a short time. Pasteurized eggs would allow you to do this without worry about the egg safety (pasteurized eggs are rarely available in my local markets, but may be more available in your area).
- The second method is to heat a large bowl by adding warm water to it. When the pasta mixture is ready, pour the hot water out of the bowl, discarding it. Add the pasta mixture to the warm bowl and stir. This works better for avoiding scrambling the eggs.
- Serve hot.