Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Instant Pot: Salmon & Spinach Pesto Pasta

This time of year is when I'm all about salmon! It's prime salmon season and one of my favorite salmon dishes is this Salmon & Spinach Pesto Pasta. The creamy spinach pesto sauce compliments the fresh salmon ever so delicately and makes for a colorful and flavorful pasta dish.

I absolutely love salmon and pesto together. This dish incorporates a twist on the traditional pesto by using spinach instead of basil. Once the pesto is made, it's added to pasta with heavy cream, spinach and Parmesan cheese for a luscious sauce. 


Salmon & Spinach Pesto Pasta
recipe adapted by Real Simple

16 ounces dry pasta (I used shells)

4 cups water
12 ounces smoked salmon, broken up in bite sized pieces
1 lemon
salt and pepper
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1/2 cup heavy cream

Spinach Pesto Sauce:

1/4 cup walnuts
2 cloves of garlic
1/2 pound baby spinach (about 10 cups)
1/3 cup olive oil
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan + more for serving/garnish
kosher salt and black pepper to taste
1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
1 cup heavy cream




In your Instant Pot:

Plug in the IP with insert set in place.


Prepare the spinach pesto sauce -  In a food processor, pulse the walnuts and garlic until chopped. Add two-thirds of the spinach (the remainder will be used later), oil, half (1/2 cup) of the Parmesan, and ¼ teaspoon each salt and pepper. Puree until smooth, scraping down the sides of the processor bowl as necessary.

Press MANUAL on the IP.

Add the pasta, water, and butter into the IP.

Secure the lid of the IP and ensure the valve is set to SEALING.

Press MANUAL and adjust the time to 4 minutes on HIGH pressure.

The display will reflect ON while the IP comes to pressure. Allow a few minutes for your IP to come to pressure.

Once at pressure, the display will reflect 4 (the number of minutes you initially set) and will begin to countdown to 0 minutes.


When the IP beeps after pressure cooking for 4 minutes, turn the setting on top of your IP to VENTING. Doing so allows the IP to quickly release any remaining pressure (also known as QPR or QR). I use a wooden spoon to carefully turn the setting to avoid close contact with the potential steam. You may also want to turn your IP away from cabinets to allow the released steam to escape freely. The pin at the top of your IP will drop when all pressure has been released and it's safe to open.

Open up your IP when the pin has dropped (allow a few minutes for this to happen). The IP will automatically default to the WARM mode. 
You'll notice no draining is necessary; the water will be absorbed by the pasta. 


Press SAUTE on the IP; add smoked salmon, heavy cream, lemon zest, lemon juice, prepared spinach pesto, the reserved spinach, remaining Parmesan and stir. Cook until cheese melts through and spinach wilts down.


Serve with freshly grated Parmesan if desired.