My first apartment in the city was just a few blocks away from one of my favorite restaurants, Basta Pasta. The first restaurant to really open my eyes to fusion food — their speciality being Japanese-Italian — and a place that holds a very special place in my haphazard culinary adventures. There were many nights spent there during my first year here in the city, from anniversary dinners and cozy winter nights with a bottle of wine and bowl of fresh pasta served from a half wheel of parmesan, to lunch meetings and out-of-town guests, I’ve definitely made my fair share of memories there, and hopefully more to come.
The restaurant was introduced to me by my aunt and uncle who love trying new places in the city, and Basta Pasta was somewhere they frequented. I remember every dish that we ordered, but the most memorable was the Farfalle con Salmon e Crema I had as my primi. A healthy serving of al dente bow tie pasta mixed in a creamy mustard sauce, filled with freshly house-smoked salmon, and hints of dill and tomato.
To be honest, it’s a hard dish to replicate mainly because I don’t really have time to smoke my own fish (even though that’s next on the list since I’ve already accomplished smoking pork in the oven). So instead, this rendition was inspired by said dish from Basta Pasta — creamy, delicate, and filled with chunks of lightly seared organic wild Alaskan salmon. A hearty meal for a weeknight spent in with a glass of white wine.
Farfalle with Salmon in a Cream Sauce
serves 4; total time: 30 minutes
1 pound Wild Alaskan Salmon, cut into 1-inch cubes
3 cups of farfalle pasta
1 tablespoon butter
1 shallot, finely minced
1/2 cup light heavy cream
1/4 cup Parmigiano reggiano
5-7 sprigs of fresh dill
1 cup sweet peas, aspargus is also good
1/2 teaspoon salt
pepper, to taste
In a medium heavy-bottom pan, bring water to boil. Add a dash of salt, then add pasta. Cook for 8 minutes. Drain pasta, set aside.
In the same pan, heat butter on medium-low. Add shallots, then add salmon. Sear the salmon until outside of the cubes are bright orange, but no longer than 4 minutes. Then add white wine, and let simmer. Lastly, stir in heavy cream, dill, peas, salt, pepper, then Parmigiano reggiano. Stir until mixture becomes very creamy. Do not let mixture boil.
Add in pasta, and make sure everything is well-combined. Serve with a more acidic white wine like a Sauvignon Blanc.