Farfalle with Smoked Salmon Sauce

What’s your pasta personality?

Originally appeared in the September 9, 2010 edition of the Southside Times.

Pasta, in part, represents a sort of anarchic and independent spirit of Italy.  I like that.  Not just because it’s a spirit that’s endured, but because it’s a pleasantly contrarian attitude that staunchly clings to hundreds of different regional traditions and cuisines.  Farfalle—also known as bow-tie pasta—is just one of those hundreds of varieties of pastas.  Read more after the jump:One of the happy challenges of creating pasta dishes is selecting the appropriately-shaped pasta to complement a particular sauce.  Some pastas are ideal for smooth, creamy sauces; while others are intended withstand more robust pairings.

With its rigid folds and characteristic butterfly shape, farfalle is perfect for sauces containing chunks of meat, sausage, or vegetables.  Here the salty, smoked salmon sauce is a riff on other Italian classics featuring fish; and here I think of vitello tonnato (veal with tuna sauce), spaghetti alle vongole (clam sauce), and linguine alle acciughe (anchovy sauce).  (Heck, even the beloved Worcestershire is a fermented fish sauce.)

Each region has its own dialect, and each region has its favorites.  After tinkering with a couple creative pairings (if you haven’t already), you’ll certainly develop your own signature pasta-and-sauce duos, and maybe your own independent spirit.

Farfalle with Smoked Salmon Sauce

Serves 4

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons shallot, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 6 ounces cold smoked salmon, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon Cognac
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • ¼ cup prepared tomato sauce (canned is just fine)
  • 1 pound of dry farfalle (bowtie) pasta
  • ½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • To taste kosher salt and cracked black pepper
  • Fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped

1.  Melt butter in sauté pan.  Add shallots and olive oil.  Sauté until shallots are translucent and soft.  Add smoked salmon and cook until warmed.  Add Cognac and carefully ignite with a lighter to flambé.  When flame subsides, stir in cream and tomato sauce.  Reduce heat slightly and cook until sauce has thickened.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Reserve sauce.

2.  Meanwhile, cook farfalle in salted, boiling water until pasta is al dente.  Drain pasta.  Pour farfalle into sauce, afterwards adding in Parmesan.  Garnish with fresh parsley and extra parmesan before service.

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Published in: on September 9, 2010 at 4:51 pm  Leave a Comment  
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