I lived in Alaska for 6 years, and after our summer trips to the Copper River, we cooked salmon in just about every way under the midnight sun. My favorite preparation was always hard smoked salmon. The idea for this particular recipe came to me when I was enjoying a bagel with hard-smoked salmon, chevre, and chives and I had a gut feeling it would be a good pasta combo. Here, I used Mark Bittman's Carbonara recipe as the foundation but instead of using bacon or pancetta, I used smoked salmon and instead of parmesan, I used goat cheese. It is creamy but still manages to taste light. You could add more salmon or cheese to your liking to beef it up a bit, but I lean towards a lighter hand when it comes to smoked salmon and this recipe reflects that. —Mary Catherine Tee
linguine (3/4 of a 1 lb. bag of dry pasta)
eggs, room temperature
goat cheese, crumbled
smoked salmon, crumbled (think hard/hot smoked and not gravlax)
handful of chives or 1-2 green onions, chopped
fresh ground black pepper, plus more to taste
Cook pasta according to package directions in generously salted water until al dente. Right before draining, reserve 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid to add to the pasta in the event it gets too dry.
While the pasta is cooking, crumble the goat cheese and salmon in separate piles using your fingers.
Right before draining pasta, heat a microwave safe bowl in the microwave for 45 seconds until warm. Add the eggs to the bowl and beat well.
Once pasta is drained, return to pasta pot. Add beaten eggs, salmon, chevre, and pepper. Stir well until ingredients are well combined and pasta is creamy. If the pasta looks a little dry, add some of the reserved cooking liquid.
Serve immediately topped with a squirt of lemon juice, chopped chives, additional black pepper, and flaked salt (optional).
I’m an old soul. My favorite Saturday morning activity is watching birds on the feeder while drinking strong, black coffee out of my favorite hand-thrown mug. My favorite place to kill time is in antique stores. The less organized the better. I like full-bodied red wines and bitter IPAs. I live for feeling the warmth of sunshine and hearing the stillness of freshly fallen snow. I can thank my stint in Alaska for that. I have salt water in my veins, having grown up in Eastern NC, and (shhh…don’t tell any of my Mainer friends this about me) I prefer blue crab over lobster.