Inspired by an early summer Alaskan cruise - one of the best family vacations we've had! The acidic bite of the sauce is a lovely accent to the sweet, rich salmon. I enjoyed this with a side salad of fresh herb greens dressed only with oil, vinegar, and pepper. Yes, it is a rich pasta dish but it is intended to evoke a tiny, brief vacation from the day. Enjoy it with good company and a witbier or kolsch. —Stephanie
Beer Blanc Sauce
white wine vinegar
white ale or witbier
butter, chilled (1.5 sticks)
dried Herbs de Provence
dried mini shell pasta
peas (fresh or frozen)
smoked salmon, flaked (canned is preferable)
In a saucepan, over medium heat, combine shallots, vinegar, thyme, and beer. The liquid should reduce by 1/2 to 2/3, leaving you with just over 1/2 cup. This will take 30-45 minutes, stir occasionally.
While liquid is reducing, cook pasta. (Directions below) Once liquid is reduced, remove from heat. Let cool slightly so that the liquid is warm but not hot to the touch.
Stir in butter, 1 tablespoon at a time. You will need to reheat the mixture slightly (use low heat) after every 3-6 tablespoons.
Once all butter has been melted, stir in Herbs de Provence.
In salted, boiling water cook shells according to directions. Don't overlook the pasta, it should be al dente.
In a small saucepan, heat water to boiling. Blanch peas for 1-3 minutes (depending on if they are fresh or frozen) and quickly transfer to cold water. Drain thoroughly.
In a medium sized bowl, combine pasta, peas and lemon juice. Stir in beer blanc sauce. Fold in flaked salmon. Top with cracked black pepper and sea salt. Serve warm.