Sunday, 12 February 2012

Salmon Pesto and Ricotta Bow Tie Pasta


As I promised, here is a quick and easy pasta to enjoy made from the left-over salmon from my last post.
Now, if you have not made my salmon recipe the night before I will forgive you so don't worry, you can use tin salmon to make life easy.

If you have been following my blog you know that I never promote pre-packaged sauces or products that are heavily processed. However, a while back I received a very kind package from Barilla (pretty much a 6 months supply of pastas and sauces.)  I have recommend Barilla to you in my recipes because it is my favourite pasta brand...ha, they didn't need to send me free food for me to talk about a product I have been faithfully using for the last 15 years...anyway, in this lovely package I was also sent some pre-made sauces that I have seen at the supermarket for years, and well I had been skeptical about using them because I love making my own sauces. It makes me feel in control to have my own sauces, this way I really know what is in them with out a doubt.
Pesto is very easy to make so I would normally just make my own but when you have 30 bottles of 'Barilla Pesto Genovese' sauce in your pantry it can get tempting to use.  Now, I did not use the whole jar, only a small portion of it to give the recipe a hint of pesto. I carefully read the package details and saw nothing that is harmful, and if used moderately in my recipe it can be as good or bad as garlic salt or any other ingredient in my kitchen (if you have a nut or cheese allergy do not use this product because it contains both !!!) Once opened these products only last 5 days. I have used this pesto sauce as a marinade for grilled zucchini as well ... It was VERY VERY nice!!!

I choose bow tie pasta because they are fun and its nice to change things up a bit. I used regular Barilla bow tie pasta, made from wheat. If you do not wish to eat this kind of pasta or can't, don't despair there are other great brands made with alternative grains. My favourite kind is KAMUT pasta, it is a perfect substitute and it also holds the consistency when you cook it. My second choice of pasta would be rice or corn pasta. These have less of a nutty flavour than the Kamut but you will have to watch the cooking time, in my experience they tend to go soft quickly.
To keep this meal at a healthy calorie range I suggest a serving of no more than 60g of pasta per person, and trust me that is one heck of a plate. If I had to serve myself the pasta I would have a 70/30 ratio of salmon to pasta, no more than 40g on my plate. Keep the protein high and decrease the carb a little.


Ingredients:

200g Barilla Bow Tie Pasta, or any pasta of your choice
1/2 a cup of ricotta
2 tablespoons of Barilla Pesto Genovese, or your own pesto mix
Salmon left-over (I used one whole piece)
Garlic salt
1 fresh tomato
Couple of fresh basil leaves, finely chopped
3 tablespoons of olive oil
2 whole chives, chopped

In a bowl add the olive oil, tomatoes, basil, chives and salmon (Use a fork to flake the salmon and make sure you remove any small bones the fish may have.)
Then add in the pesto and ricotta, and sprinkle some garlic salt (Taste it, if its too salty it does not have to be a problem because you still have to add the pasta and that will bland the sauce.)


(You can still add more ingredients. For example if you have some steamed green beans cut those up and add them in... Please modify this recipe to your liking, everyone liked it but I'm sure you can add more things to it. If you don't have salmon who cares, use tuna. If you like it spicy add chilli flakes.)

When boiling the pasta please don't be stingy with the water, lots of water for pasta is a good thing. The more space the pasta has to cook the less space for it to stick.
Now the key to a good pasta is to throw it in only when the water is salted and is boiling at its max. Keep an eye on the cooking time and stir the pasta while it is boiling. Eating over-cooked pasta is not the same experience as a pasta that is al dente...I see so many people who add oil to the boiling water....WHY??? You do not need oil in the water unless the pasta is made of egg, such as tagliatelle, etc...it will be specified on the package when they are made out of egg. Sorry but I have to mention this, it is my pet peeve...

Okay so you have drained the pasta, leave a little bit of water (make sure your bow ties are not dry...
Then start mixing the pasta into the bowl with the salmon and other ingredients...Yummy
You may add a dash of parmiggiano regiano, but only a little; please we want this recipe to stay lean.

Okay you are now ready to enjoy your Salmon Pesto and Ricotta Bow Tie Pasta!!!

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