Wednesday, February 01, 2012

pasta with fennel, salmon & cannellini beans

We're having a very mild winter... today it was in the 60's! That's downright balmy by February in St. Louis standards. With this dish I was going for something light and bright, but still seasonal. Fennel and salmon are one of my favorite combos. The beans add a certain creaminess and extra protein. The use of lemon juice brings the sunshine! I'll bet that this is going to make a good cold pasta salad for lunch tomorrow.

Pasta with Fennel, Salmon & Cannellini Beans

-12 oz. pasta, such as cavatappi or penne
-2 fennel bulbs, halved and sliced thin, some fronds reserved
-1 medium red onion, halved and sliced thin
-4 garlic cloves, chopped
-4 Tablespoons olive oil (divided)
-1 salmon fillet
-1/2 cup white wine
-2 lemons
-salt & pepper

Preheat oven to 450ºF. Cook pasta on stove top according to directions. Reserve some of the pasta water.

Meanwhile, combine fennel, garlic & onion in an oven-proof dutch oven with 2 Tablespoons of oil, salt & pepper. Roast in the oven for about 25 minutes, stirring halfway through.

After 25 minutes, push the vegetables around the side of the pot, and put the salmon in the middle. Season with salt & pepper and the juice of half a lemon. Return pot to oven and cook an additional 10-12 minutes. Remove salmon to a plate and use a fork to flake it into pieces.

Put the pot of roasted vegetables over a medium high-heat on the stove top and add the wine and the juice from the other half of the lemon and stir, scraping the bottom of the dutch oven, for about 3 minutes. Add the cooked pasta, beans and salmon. Add the other 2 Tablespoons of oil, the fennel fronds and the juice of the other lemon, and gently stir over the heat until combined and warmed though. Add some of the pasta water if needed. Season and Serve.

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