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
Test Kitchen Notes
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
pound whole grain penne
diced sweet onion, about one cup
tablespoons sweet butter
14.5 ounce can whole plum tomatoes, drained, seeded and chopped
8 ounce can salt-free tomato sauce
tablespoon concentrated tomato paste
cup heavy cream
ounces smoked salmon, cut in strips or flaked, depending on what type you get
ounces fresh salmon, poached and cooled
teaspoon crushed red pepper
cup fresh basil, sliced crosswise into stripsinto
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.