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Author Notes: In my files, I have a recipe for Ziti with Smoked Salmon that I cut out of the New York Times more than 20 years ago. I remember clipping it because I was looking for something to prepare for my non-meat-eating guests that weekend; I remember keeping it because it was so yummy. It's evolved over the years - (the amount of cream went down as the amount of vodka went up) but I think it holds true to the Times' recipe, in spirit(s) at least! Here's a link to the original: http://tinyurl.com/ziti-with-smoked-salmon - wssmom
Food52 Review: Wssmom’s Penne with Two Salmons is a rich, satisfying pasta that comes together in a snap on a weeknight, but could also pull double duty for a more celebratory weekend soiree. The combination of poached salmon and smoked salmon boosts a classic vodka cream sauce up a few notches. The resulting dish is an elegant and flavorful study in contrasts: sweet basil and salty smoked salmon, cream and boozy tomatoes. My only note is that I cooked the mixture a bit longer after adding the vodka. Wssmom does not indicate a preferred poaching liquid, I used half water and half vermouth, with excellent results. —gingerroot
- 1 pound whole grain penne
- 1 diced sweet onion, about one cup
- 4 tablespoons sweet butter
- 1 14.5 ounce can whole plum tomatoes, drained, seeded and chopped
- 1 8 ounce can salt-free tomato sauce
- 1 tablespoon concentrated tomato paste
- 2/3 cup vodka
- 3/4 cup heavy cream
- 4 ounces smoked salmon, cut in strips or flaked, depending on what type you get
- 4 ounces fresh salmon, poached and cooled
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
- 1/2 cup fresh basil, sliced crosswise into stripsinto
- 1/2 cup shredded parmesan, plus more for passing
- While the water is heating for the pasta, saute the onion in the butter in a large skillet over medium low heat until softened, about 5-7 minutes.
- Put the pasta on; add to the onions the tomatoes, tomato sauce, and tomato paste, turn up the heat and cook, stirring, about a minute. Add the vodka and bring to a slow boil, then turn down the heat and cook, stirring occasionally, another 5 minutes.
- Blend in the cream and heat until bubbling, then stir in the salmons, the red pepper and most of the basil.
- Drain the pasta and reserve a bit of the cooking liquid to stir into the sauce. Stir in the parmesan, turn into a serving bowl and garnish with the remaining basil.