Friday night special: In the time it takes the pasta to cook, you have everything else done and you’re ready to eat.
I love having folks over for Friday night dinners. It is fun to make this meal a bit special to mark the close of the week. The weekend seems longer and more festive if you start it off with something really tasty, even with a simple pasta dish, and it doesn’t necessarily mean a lot of work or time. This one is as fast as it is memorable.
This is a variation on a recipe I used to make using my homemade crème fraîche, but since my husband’s heart attack and an attempt to bring both our cholesterol levels down, I had to make a few swaps. The first was to use goat cheese as my creamy element, and not a lot of it.
A favorite goat cheese
My goat cheese here was an herbed variety from a local dairy, and it’s one of my favorites. Lower in cholesterol than cow cheese, this is a better choice if you are being careful with saturated fats. If you don’t do dairy at all, you can substitute a vegan cream cheese here.This dish is also delightful with absolutely no creamy element. Or, you can make it the way I originally did using crème fraîche!
Corn goes a long ways!
I saved corn from a big batch I roasted the day before. Roasted or grilled is best, but in a pinch, or out of season, you can substitute a nice frozen corn. I also saved the cobs and tucked them in the pasta water to lend more flavor. Not essential, but a nice touch.
First, choose a tasty salmon
Faroe Island salmon was my choice here, buttery and firm, with great flavor. However, use what is fresh and in season. In June, I would use a wild Alaskan salmon. You could also use another firm fish.
My pasta this time around was an Italian fusilli made with whole durum wheat. A penne would be nice here, or even a whole-grain spaghetti.
Don’t skip the anchovies
The anchovies add a flavorful little background note, so keep them in, even if you think you don’t like anchovies. I won’t ever ask you to eat a whole one straight up, or put a whole one on a pizza! Here, they will disappear into the sauce, a lingering, soft memory. They are just little tiny fish and they won’t hurt you.
Ask someone to set the table, let someone else pour the wine, and in the time it takes for everyone to get settled, this dish is ready for you all to enjoy, and the weekend begins!
Salmon with Roasted Corn, Fusilli, and Chèvre
- 10 oz. pasta of choice
- 3 tbsp. fruity olive oil
- 4 anchovy filets, minced
- 1 lb. salmon, skinned and save
- 6 cloves of garlic, or so, finely minced
- 1 cup cooked corn, preferably roasted
- ¼ cup minced fresh basil leaves
- 3 to 4 oz. goat chèvre of choice, broken up
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Fresh basil to garnish
Play some favorite music, I like jazz with this dish. Put a large pot of water on to boil, salt it, and cook pasta according to package directions. If you have a few corn cobs, toss them in too; they will flavor the pasta water that you will use at the end.
In the meantime, skin the salmon, and cut the flesh into 1-inch chunks, salting lightly. Place the skin on toweling to absorb the moisture, then lightly salt it as well.
In a large skillet, heat about half the olive oil and add the skin. Cook until brown, both sides, remove to drain, then add the anchovies and the rest of the oil to the pan. Let these melt for about a minute, then add the salmon. Cook on one side for about a minute, add the garlic, turn, and continue to sauté for another couple of minutes, or until just barely done with a bit of undercooked in the middle. Stir in the corn to warm, add the basil, then remove from heat.
Chop the cooled, crisp skin. Have it ready to garnish at the end. Chop up some more basil too.
Drain the pasta, reserving a bit of the water, and add the pasta back to the hot pan. Add the goat cheese and a few tablespoons of the pasta water and let the cheese melt. If need be, add a bit more pasta water to make it creamy. You know how you like it!
Place the pasta in pretty serving bowl, and add the salmon mixture on top. Garnish with more basil leaves, the crisped skin, and serve. It is kind of pale to look at, so I served this with peas on the side and it was just right. Serves 4 to 6.
Now, everything is good!
© Copyright 2022– or current year, The New Vintage Kitchen. Unattributed use of this material is strictly prohibited. Reposting and links may be used, provided that credit is given to The New Vintage Kitchen, with active link and direction to this original post.
The New Vintage Kitchen does not accept ads or payment for mention of products or businesses.
Supporter of: Slow Food Fair Trade USA Northeast Organic Farmers Association EcoWatch Let’s Save Our Planet No Kid Hungry Hunger Free Vermont
35 Comments Add yours
great idea to put the corn cobs in the pasta water!
Thank you Jenna. Any time I can extract a little flavor, I’m there!
Love all the ingredients you’ve used in this dish, and the fact it’s quick to prepare only makes it better!
I’m definitely on when it comes to adding anchovies to the sauce. 🙂
Thanks Ronit! It was so easy, and so delicious, we all enjoyed it, even the anchovy hater. Think I have a convert!
Dorothy, you know all the tricks for ekeing out every last bit of flavor! The corn cobs in the water, crisping the fish skin (which is so rich with Omega-3s!) and distributing the anchovy and goat cheese flavors throughout the dish. This sounds just great! I also couldn’t resist following your link for the homemade creme fraiche, and now you know, I’m going to have to try it!
I think creme fraiche is one of my all-time favorite ingredients, and I will still use it now and then in moderation, but the goat cheese in this was really tasty too!
Another tasty heart healthy recipe. Thanks Dorothy.
Thanks Bernie! We really loved this one.
This is my kind of pasta dish. Looks so tasty and healthy too!
It really was tasty. Thanks for stopping by Jan!
Looks delish! I love salmon
Me too, and it is really good for you as well as being tasty!
Huge fan of Salmon! This sounds delicious to me, especially with jazz music playing on background while making this 🙂
Thank you Marylou! The jazz is an important ingredient!
Salmon is my favorite and I love the combination of corn, pasta and chevre!
Thank you! It’s a lovely blend of flavors, each supporting the others.
You had me at salmon. Every time we’re at Costco we load up on trout and salmon to make dishes at home. This one sounds great, Dorothy!
Thanks Christy! We are keeping this one for sure!
This dish sounds so good–love the combination of chevre and roasted corn in this!
It’s a perfect match! The sweet of the corn and the tang of the cheese is a really nice combination.
My favorite fish, Dorothy. Love everything about this recipe! Looks fabulous! Dorothy Does Dinner!! 🌟
Ah, I see you like to play the alliteration game too!
Thank you! I try to squeeze some salmon in every week, and it doesn’t take much effort!
A delicious way to prepare salmon.
Thank you Jovina! It also stretches a pound of salmon as well!
Very nice. It just made me hungry! Love these ingredients!
Thank you Mimi! They played together nicely.
Love a quick dinner and this is it! And heart healthy! Love the idea of corn cobs in the water!
Thank you for another great one!
Thanks for stopping by Nancy! It’s perfect to make Friday special, without a lot of time!
I like quick and easy and I agree about the anchovies they take the flavour up a notch 🙂
Thanks Carol. I use anchovies in lots of dishes, a real flavor boost.
You always make me wish I liked fish!
We’ll, you never know…
Pasta water is quite useful it seems. I love the looks and sounds of this dish. I can imagine the smells. The idea to cut the skin as garnish is fantastic. Oh if only we could access Faroe island salmon down under.
Thank you Amanda, that pasta water is a wonder.
Unless the Alaskan is in season, the Faroe Island is truly the most flavorful.