TDM CCN Header

30 May 2011

Elicopenna with Salmon, Pancetta & Green Peas

When I came up with this recipe, I was, as always, in a frenzy in the kitchen.  I didn't have so much in my fridge to cook so I had to scout for leftovers and frozen ingredients that I always keep for emergencies. I found some frozen green peas & spinach. In the fridge, I had one remaining package of pancetta affumicata and an open pack of smoked salmon.  Imagining the flavors, I was thinking that I would be creating something tasty.  I don't think i ever combined salmon with pancetta before. The only thing they have in common is that they are both smoked.

Off I went experimenting on the stove. The feelings are always the same.  Excitement to try something new and apprehension if no one eats what I prepared.  I look forward to the smile after the first forkful of food because that is my big trophy. I got it, and even three of them for this pasta dish!

Elicopenna with Salmon, Pancetta & Green Peas

Serves 4
  • 350 g. elicopenna or any short pasta
  • 200 g. green peas
  • 150 g. smoked salmon, chopped
  • 200 g. spinach, chopped
  • a dash of cognac (optional)
  • 80 g. pancetta affumicata (smoked pancetta)
  • 1 clove garlic, halved
  • extra virgin olive oil
  1. Boil water in a pot for the pasta.  When it boils, add salt & cook the pasta according to the number of minutes suggested in the package.
  2. Since my spinach was frozen, I quickly defrosted it in the microwave.  Chop in an electric chopper or in the food processor.  If you have fresh spinach, drop them directly to the electric chopper or food processor.  Set aside.
  3. Sautè the garlic in a saucepan with extra virgin olive oil.  When it turns golden, add the pancetta affumicata.  Toast.  Add green peas.  Toss with the pancetta.  Add spinach & salmon.  Cook for about 5 minutes.  
  4. Add a dash of cognac.  Cook for another 10 minutes.  If the sauce becomes too dry, add a little bit of hot water taken from the pot you are boiling for the pasta.
  5. Discard the garlic.  Adjust the taste.  See if you still need to put salt.  Mix cooked pasta with the sauce.  Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil.