Smoked Salmon Rigatoni with Asparagus and Peas

I am not normally a fan of cream sauces but this recipe is definitely an exception.  Be sure to use hot smoked salmon and not cold smoked (like lox).

Smoked Salmon Rigatoni with Asparagus and Peas

  • pound fresh asparagus
  • Salt
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • tablespoon minced shallots
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1.5 cups heavy cream
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • ounces smoked salmon, flaked into small pieces
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1-2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 lb rigatoni 
  • 2-3 tablespoons fresh dill, minced

Cut the woody ends off the asparagus and then cut on a slant to pieces about an inch long.  Steam the asparagus or wrap the asparagus in a damp paper towel and microwave for 2 minutes so they are just barely tender and still bright green, then set them aside.  Cook the frozen peas according to the package and set aside.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil for the pasta.  In the meantime, melt the butter in a large heavy skillet over medium heat and saute the shallots and garlic until soft but not brown. Stir in the cream and simmer about five minutes, until the cream has thickened somewhat.

Flake the salmon by hand into bite size pieces, add it to the cream and turn off the burner. Season with pepper and lemon juice, then add the asparagus and peas.

Add the pasta to the pot and drain when done. Briefly reheat the sauce. Transfer the rigatoni to a warm serving bowl, pour the sauce over it and toss. Sprinkle with dill and serve.

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