Pappardelle with Salmon and Leeks

Every country has its pasta dishes, and we here in the U.S. are fortunate in having an abundance of pasta varieties to incorporate into our cooking.  Pappardelle, native to Italy, is a type of pasta made from eggs and whole wheat flour, then cut into wide ribbons, so it provides a lot of substance and chew-factor.  It you are looking for a healthy pasta dish, you won’t go wrong with this one.

Pappardelle, with salmon and leeks.

Pappardelle, with salmon and leeks.

This dish makes good use of leeks,  a great spring vegetable, and salmon.  If leeks are not available where you live, you could substitute any mild flavored onion.  Another nice addition would be baby spinach that gets just wilted by the heat of the pasta.  When I eat this meal I feel that I’ve indulged my craving for pasta and treated myself to something especially healthful and nutritious.


YIELD:    Serves 6


  • 3/4 lb. uncooked pappardelle pasta

    Pappardelle,  wide pasta ribbons.

    Pappardelle, wide pasta ribbons.

  • 3 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 2  large leeks, trimmed and thinly sliced
  • 2  teaspoons minced fresh savory, or 1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme
  • 3/4  teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine  (or chicken broth)
  • 1/2 cup unsalted chicken broth
  • 1 Tablespoon minced flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 teaspoon grated fresh lemon rind
  • 1  ( 1 lb. salmon fillet ), fresh or frozen
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons unsalted butter

1.  Cook pasta according to package directions.  Drain pasta in a colander over a bowl, reserving 1/4 cup cooking liquid; keep pasta and cooking liquid warm.

2.  Heat 2 Tablespoons olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat.  Add leeks, savory, and 1/2 teaspoon salt;  cook 15 minutes or until leeks are translucent, stirring occasionally.

Saute leeks in olive oil.

Saute leeks in olive oil.

Increase heat to medium-high.  Add wine; cook 1 minute.  Add chicken broth; bring to a simmer.  Remove from heat; stir in pasta, reserved cooking liquid, parsley, and lemon rind.

Cook salmon until golden and browned, but still moist.

Cook salmon until golden and browned, but still moist.

3.  Sprinkle salmon fillet with remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper.  Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add remaining 1 Tablespoon olive oil and the butter;  swirl until butter melts.  Add salmon, and cook for 5 minutes on each side or until desired degree of doneness.  Break the salmon into large chunks.  Arrange 1 cup of the pasta mixture on each of 6 plates, and top evenly with salmon.  Serve immediately.

I added asparagus to the menu to round out the meal.

I added asparagus to the menu to round out the meal.

SOURCE:   The Glorious Pasta of Italy,   by Domenica Marchetti


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