Saturday, October 18, 2008

Smoked Salmon Pasta with Scotch

While my hubby is the farthest thing from a "foodie", there is one thing his palate really appreciates, single malt scotch. He contributed some from his collection to my recipe.

Tom's scotch collection

INGREDIENTS (2 servings)

* 1/4 (16 ounce) package dry penne pasta
* 3/4 teaspoon olive oil
* 1/4 medium onion, finely chopped
* 1/2 cup fish stock
* 1/2 cup white wine
* 2-1/4 teaspoons Scotch whiskey
* 2 ounces chopped smoked salmon
* 1/2 cup heavy cream
* freshly ground black pepper to taste
* 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese for topping
* 1/4 bunch Italian flat leaf parsley, chopped


1. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Place penne pasta in the pot, cook 8 to 10 minutes, until al dente, and drain.
2. Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat, and cook the onion until tender. Pour in the fish stock and white wine, and cook until reduced by 1/2.
3. Remove the skillet from heat, and pour in the Scotch whisky. Using a long match, carefully ignite the Scotch. Once the flame had subsided, return the skillet to medium heat, and mix in the salmon. Stir in the cream, and bring the mixture to a boil. Continue to cook and stir until thickened.
4. In a large bowl, toss the cooked penne pasta with the salmon mixture. Season with pepper, and top with Parmesan cheese and parsley to serve.

This recipe does involve lighting alcohol on fire, so be sure to clear out the kids and dogs and have a lid on hand just in case! If you don't happen to have a large collection of fine scotch available, I am sure a little regular old whiskey would work and taste just as good. (just don't tell my hubby that!)

Put some water on to boil for your pasta and lets gather up some ingredients.

I didn't have fish stock so I just added some fish sauce to chicken broth. You also need some white wine.

Some onion diced up.

Delicious smoked salmon. I can eat this stuff like candy.

Some parsley from my Aerogarden.

Heavy cream.

Some Glenmorangie Scotch. This isn't a super expensive Scotch, the hubby did take the time to help me pick one that he thought would be good for the recipe. Even though he has never had smoked salmon and he doesn't eat pasta. It is the thought that counts!

Pour it out into a separate container, then pour a finger for your generous hubby who sacrificed for your culinary pursuits. Get the pasta in the water and get it cooked before you move on so you can give your total attention to the sauce.

Lets get started with the onions over medium high heat. Cook them for 3-5 minutes until they are softened.

Pour in the wine and the stock and let it simmer until it reduces by half.

Now we get to burn up some scotch! This technique is called 'flambe' and is traditionally used as a dramatic visual in the cooking process but the scotch in this meal does add a smoky flavor that is a subtle taste you can't quite place but really creates a nice complexity. One thing that is very important about this technique is you want to remove the pan from the heat for safety.

I put it on a trivet away from the stovetop. Pour in the scotch and light it up!

Since my serving was for one, the flame was not very impressive but you can see it there if you look closely.

The hubby even stopped by to see the excitement. Once the flame is out, put the pan back on the stove.

Add in the cream and the smoked salmon over medium heat.

Bring it to a boil and let it thicken.

Stir in the pasta and get it warmed through. I used egg noodles instead of penne because that is what I had.

Garnish with the parsley and some parmesan cheese and enjoy. The sauce was amazingly good. I will definitely be making this again as I certainly have plenty of Scotch from which to choose.

One more thing before I go, I have added labels to my post which appear on the side bar now. If you are looking for pasta dishes or something vegetarian, just click the label and it will bring up all the recipes that apply. I think it is very useful and interesting to see what all I have made so far as I approach one year of food blogging.

Thank you all for reading and spending a few minutes a day dining with me. I appreciate you all.


  1. Mmmm. That looks delish! Your pan's really cute- it looks like a little stainless stain bowl with a long handle.

  2. Gorgeous! That pasta looks delish.

    Also, I'm envious of the scotch collection!

  3. I really like the sound of this one.


  4. You lost me at the smoked salmon, but I could totally see some chicken breast in there.... the sauce sounds nice

  5. Ooh, this reminds me that I really want to try that creme brulee recipe I found somewhere. ;)

  6. This looks delicious! I lost my scotch virginity when I friend and I bought shots of various different whiskies and compared them side-by-side. I had no idea there was such a vast difference, and there were definitely some very smoky ones that could potentially work well with smoked salmon.

    Now, if only I could remember the names of any of the drinks we tried...