Pasta with Pesto and Salmon

August 30, 2019
1 Ratings
Photo by Risa B
  • Prep time 30 minutes
  • Cook time 45 minutes
  • Serves 6
Author Notes

For whatever reason, the colors in this dish – pink and bright green – just scream spring to me. It’s also so easy! Pesto is a great pasta sauce, and in combination with vegetables – really any of your choosing – it makes a flavorful, nutrient packed dish and a great foundation for making a recipe your own. In this particular incarnation, the vegetables really shine, especially the tomatoes in complement to the pesto. —Risa B

What You'll Need
  • Pesto (adapted from Joy of Cooking)
  • 2 cups loosely packed basil leaves (and/or parsley)
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan (and/or Pecorino romano)
  • 1/3 cup pine nuts, hazelnuts, almonds, and/or walnuts
  • 2 medium garlic cloves, peeled and/or garlic scapes
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil, or as needed
  • Lots of kosher salt
  • Ground black pepper
  • Pasta
  • 1 small bulb fennel, fronds reserved
  • 1 leek
  • 3 small zucchini, cut in 1/2 in cubes
  • 1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 pound salmon
  • 4 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 pound radiatore pasta, cooked al dente
  1. Pesto (adapted from Joy of Cooking)
  2. In a food processor, combine basil, cheese, nuts, and garlic until finely minced
  3. With machine running, stream in oil until pesto is loose and quite wet
  4. Season to taste with salt and pepper. This will require a lot of salt!
  1. Pasta
  2. Preheat the oven to 400°F
  3. Quarter the fennel, remove the core and slice into 1/4 in thick slices
  4. Remove the root and dark green part of the leek, then cut the leek in half lengthwise and wash very well between the layers. There is always a ton of dirt trapped in there!
  5. Thinly slice the leek into half moons.
  6. Combine the fennel, leek, zucchini, and tomatoes. Toss with oil, 3/4 tsp kosher salt and 1/3 tsp pepper and spread on a baking sheet.
  7. Cook ~25 min until soft and leeks are brown.
  8. In a saute pan heat vegetable oil over medium high heat.
  9. Season the salmon with salt and pepper and fry, flipping once, until just cooked, ~5 min.
  10. Toss the pasta with 2 cups pesto and vegetables. Use pasta cooking water to get sauce to the desired consistency.
  11. Serve the pasta topped with flaked salmon and the reserved fennel fronds.

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1 Review

NXL August 1, 2020
This is a LOT of dirty dishes, but since it serves so many, it is worthwhile. At least 5 servings. The roasted fennel was a great addition. I roasted the salmon in the oven while the vegetables were in, rather than cooking it separately. I did not use all of the pesto, even though the recipe made less than the 2 cups that the recipe said to use.