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In many ways, this Salmon with Zucchini and Thin Spaghetti is more about cooking technique, than it is about the specific ingredients we used to make this quick and easy dinner.
Of course – the flavors we put together in this dish are fantastic. But as long as you follow a few basic steps as you cook, the sky’s the limit in terms of mixing and matching or swapping in other ingredients to make this recipe your own.
It’s easy to make this delicious family meal any night of the week! As you might be able to guess from the name of this recipe – Salmon with Zucchini and Thin Spaghetti – we’re sharing this dish as a way to use some of your wonderful garden zucchini that is growing and ripening so fast these days.
But if you have yellow summer squash – by all means swap that in instead. If you don’t like salmon – swap in another favorite fish or meat!
We added some other fresh garden veggies – sweet, ripe cherry tomatoes and zesty banana peppers, plus garden-grown basil and flat-leaf parsley in a creamy sauce – but you could swap in bell peppers or eggplant if you have that growing like crazy in your garden. You can even swap in different herbs – like tarragon or sage – for a completely different flavor profile in the cream sauce.
One of the tricks to this Salmon with Zucchini and Thin Spaghetti is to cut the vegetables in a similar shape as the pasta you decide to use. We chose a thin spaghetti – and hand-cut our zucchini and peppers into spaghetti-like strands. Doing this allowed everything to blend together and cling to the strands of cooked pasta. (If you’d like, you can use a spiralizer with the thinnest blade to cut your zucchini.)
But any other pasta shape will do! If you are choosing a broader pasta shape like farfalle or penne, we suggest cutting your zucchini and peppers into chunks instead. (The cooking time may vary if you do so.)
We hope you enjoy this Salmon with Zucchini and Thin Spaghetti – it’s a wonderful taste of summer!
1/2 pound uncooked thin spaghetti
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
1 pound salmon, skinned and cut into 2” cubes
1 pint small cherry or grape tomatoes
1/4 pound onion cut into thin strips, see above
1/4 pound sweet banana peppers cut into thin strips, see above(also try to buy peppers that are straight and not curled. This will make it easier to cut)
Pinch red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon fresh garlic, minced
1/4 cup vermouth or white wine
1 pound zucchini cut into thin strips, see above
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated black pepper
1/4 cup fresh Italian flat leaf parsley, chopped
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup freshly grated Romano cheese
1/2 cup fresh Italian basil chopped
Put a pot of water on to boil and once boiling, salt generously and add the dry pasta. Cook to just shy of al dente and remove to a bowl, leaving pasta water in pot.
While pasta is cooking, in a large skillet or sauté pan, add half of the oil and heat to medium high.
Add salmon cubes not touching each other and cook for a few minutes on each side to brown and cook almost through. Remove to a bowl.
Add the tomatoes and cook until just starting to pop, about 2-3 minutes. Remove those to the same bowl as the salmon.
Add the remaining oil and the onions and sauté for two minutes, scraping up the browned bits from the bottom of the pan left behind from the salmon and tomatoes.
Add the banana peppers and cook for 2-3 minutes to soften.
Add pepper flakes and garlic and cook for one minute then add the vermouth.
Cook to evaporate, about two minutes.
Add the zucchini and cook and stir for two minutes.
Add salt, pepper, parsley and cream and stir.
Add about a cup of pasta water and stir.
Add Romano and basil, stir then add the cooked pasta.
Stir then add the cooked tomatoes and salmon and gently toss to combine. Remove from heat.
To serve, top with additional fresh basil and Romano cheese.
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