Saturday, January 10, 2009

Creamy Pasta with Salmon, Asparagus & Dill

Last year I scored the book, The Perfect Recipe for Losing Weight & Eating Great, by Pam Anderson. I've used it as inspiration here and there but never really made an actual recipe from it. My Chef Spotlight Dinner served as the perfect time to use a recipe from it since we were highlighting health conscious chefs! For my dinner I prepared Pam's Creamy Pasta with Salmon, Asparagus & Dill.

Creamy Pasta with Salmon, Asparagus & Dill
recipe from Pam Anderson: The Perfect Recipe, page 208

Salt
1 pound dried pasta
3 cups asparagus, tough ends snapped, spears cut into 1-inch pieces
1 cup chicken broth
1 cup 2-percent evaporated milk
2 large garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 cup parmesan cheese, preferably Parmigiano-Reggiano, plus extra for sprinkling
12 ounces cooked salmon, cut into 2-inch chunks
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
1/4 cup chopped fresh dill
Ground black pepper

Bring 2 quarts water and 1 tablespoon salt to a boil in a large soup kettle. Add pasta and, using the time given on the package as a guide, cook, partially covered and stirring frequently to prevent sticking, until just tender. Add asparagus during the last 5 minutes of cooking.
Meanwhile, microwave broth, milk and garlic in a 1-quart Pyrex measuring cup or small microwave-safe bowl until steamy-hot, 3 to 4 minutes; let stand for a couple of minutes.
Place butter in a Dutch oven or large saucepan over low heat. When butter melts, whisk in flour, then hot milk mixture all at once, whisking constantly until sauce thickens, 1 to 2 minutes.
Stir in parmesan, salmon, lemon zest and dill. Add salt and black pepper to taste and simmer to blend flavors, about 5 minutes.
Drain pasta, reserving 1 cup pasta cooking liquid. Return pasta to pot.
Pour cream sauce over pasta, adding enough reserved cooking liquid to moisten. Toss and serve immediately with a light sprinkling of parmesan.