Tuesday, 10 September 2013

Delicious pasta bake

Sometimes I find a new recipe and I can almost feel my arteries clogging up as I read it - heaps of butter, cream, cheese, more cheese.  Now, I like rich food and could quite easily munch my way through a whole baked Camembert cheese but I know that these can only be occasional treats in an otherwise balanced diet.

Salmon & broccoli pasta bake
I came across a salmon & broccoli pasta bake that I loved the sound of - but with much less of the suggested fat added to it.  I cooked my version of it last night and it was delicious (even if I say so myself :-)) - creamy but not over the top. 

I guess that's the beauty with cooking - you can always change the recipe into something you'd prefer to eat, so please feel free to play with this one.

Right, I guess I had better updated the much-neglected recipe index - I am still trying to find a better way of listing all the recipes in a more user-friendly way.

Salmon & broccoli pasta bake (serves 4)

Note: if you hate capers and/or anchovies, you can leave these out but I would add a little mustard to the sauce to give it a bit of a "kick"

  • 250g pasta shapes (I used wholemeal twirls)
  • 300g broccoli, cut into large florets
  • 2 tsps butter
  • 25g plain flour
  • 500ml milk
  • 2 tbsp mascarpone (or use some double cream)
  • 8 sundried tomatoes, rehydrated in some hot water & chopped into pieces
  • 2 tbsp small capers (optional) rinsed to remove excess salt or vinegar
  • 8 anchovy fillets, halved (optional)
  • 10 large fresh basil leaves, roughly torn
  • 4 fresh skinless salmon fillets (approx. 100g per person), cut into bite-size pieces
  • a little grated cheese for topping
  • a little mustard (optional - see note above)

  1. Preheat the oven to 190C/fan 170C.
  2. Place the salmon pieces into an ovenproof dish (roughly 20 x 30cm). 
  3. Cook the pasta according to the packet instructions and 5 minutes before the end, add the broccoli to the pan to cook together with the pasta.  Drain well and spread over the salmon pieces in the ovenproof dish.
  4. Melt the butter in a small saucepan, add the flour and stirring continuously, add the milk until everything thickens to a smooth sauce.
  5. Remove from the heat and add the mascarpone (or cream), sundried tomatoes, capers, anchovies and basil.
  6. Adjust the seasoning, stir and then pour over the pasta/broccoli/salmon.
  7. Sprinkle on a little grated cheese and bake for 25 - 30 minutes until pale golden in colour.  You may want to put the grill on for a couple of minutes just to crisp up the top but that's optional.
  8. Serve on its own or with chunks of crusty bread and a simple salad. 

(recipe adapted from BBC Good Food)

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