Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Leftover Magic

... Pasta with Salmon and Capers

The guests have flown home and the boat refrigerator is now packed with the fresh items we didn't eat and way too many small containers of leftovers that were just too tasty to toss. Partial jars of jams, sauces and condiments overflow the refrigerator door shelves, It's a nightmare of chaotic abundance.

We gobbled up the remaining huckleberries on our sourdough pancakes this morning. That took care of one container. For lunch we enjoyed mushroom risotto, cold salmon with sauce on salad greens, and grilled French bread. That was tasty grazing with two fewer containers to store.

We spent the afternoon in the dinghy, fishing and shooting photos of grizzlies at the foot of the falls in Pavlof Bay. All of that fresh air and sunshine (plus the adrenaline rush from the bear watching) took all of my energy, so while RL went fishing outside the bay I stayed aboard to read, relax and do some menu planning. Hmmmm, what to do with cooked pasta, and barbecued salmon with sauce? Combining ideas from two cookbooks, I came up with a new version of Salmon Pasta in Caper Sauce. Dinner rated two thumbs up from the Capt so this might become a regular menu item... and now there are two more containers out of the refrigerator!

Pasta with Salmon and Capers
Adapted from Fast Fish by Hugh Carpenter, Ten Speed Press
2 servings

1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup onions, chopped small
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 TB capers, rinsed
1/4 cup fresh Italian parsley, rough chopped
2 servings long pasta (spaghetti, capellini, etc.)
pasta cooking water, as needed (or chicken broth or white wine)
2 cups cooked salmon (barbecued with bacon & lemon dill sauce is best!)
2 TB olivada* (homemade tapenade or from jar)
Freshly ground pepper
1/4 cup freshly grated Asiago or parmesan cheese

Undercook pasta by a few minutes; drain but do NOT rinse; save 1/4 cup pasta cooking water to add to sauce if needed.

Steam or microwave salmon until warm; set aside and hold.

Heat olive oil in skillet over medium low heat; add onions and cook until soft. Add garlic and capers; cook several minutes but do not brown garlic. Add parsley; cook for 1 minute. Add pasta to sauce; cook just to warm, adding pasta water as needed. Move pasta to outer rim of pan and add salmon to the center; cook briefly until warm. Stir in olivada and gently toss all to mix.

Twirl pasta mounds onto each warmed plate and top with remaining sauce and fish. Add pepper, top with cheese and serve.
*Olivada substitutions might be lemon zest or anchovies.

Pavlof Harbor, August 2009


  1. I love this recipe. My husband and son love to fish and with a freezer full of pink salmon, I am always looking for new recipes. I have followed your blog for over a year now. Great recipes! Please keep them coming. ~Brenda (Bellingham, WA)

  2. Brenda, thanks for the positive comments. I'm delighted you are finding recipes to enjoy - and it's always nice to know that someone besides my Mom and my girlfriends read my posts. :>)


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