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Penne and Salmon with Vodka Sauce

September 1, 2010 | Fish & Seafood, Pasta & Pizza, Sauces

This dish is good. I mean really good. And simple. And uses ingredients that are in season. Need I say more? You have to try it!The other day I was staring at this pile of heirloom tomatoes and more zucchini (it’s never ending) and wondering what to make that would be different.I also had several pieces of salmon left from two large filets I had trimmed for dinners over the weekend. Plus I had purchased a bottle of vodka to make limoncello (that will be posted soon!). And as I went digging on the internet I landed on my blogging friend Elaine’s traditional Penne with Salmon in Vodka Sauce, which inspired me. People often ask me how I come up with recipes and this is a perfect example: I have a few ingredients I’m trying to use, I see a recipe that inspires me, then I take off and create my own riff on the dish.Begin by sauteing sliced zucchini and shallot in some olive oil, then add tomatoes to it. By using the zucchini in this dish it’s sort of like a Spaghetti alla Nerano meets a classic Penne with Vodka Sauce.Next add the vodka and cook off the alcohol from the vodka and simmer the vegetables with the cream……before adding the pieces of salmon to cook in the sauce.Finally, gently toss in the cooked penne pasta and garnish with parsley to serve. The Italians would never put cheese on this dish because it has seafood in it, but feel free to add some Parmigiano if you like it!

Penne and Salmon with Vodka Sauce
Serves 4

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 large shallot, sliced
1 medium zucchini, sliced into half moons
salt and pepper
3 large tomatoes, diced
1/2 cup vodka
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 pound salmon, cut into 1″ cubes
8 ounces penne pasta, cooked and drained
parsley, for garnish

Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat and add shallot and zucchini; season with salt and pepper and saute until slightly soft, then add tomatoes and continue cooking until tomatoes break down and release their juices. Add vodka and bring to a boil; cook for 1 minute, then add heavy cream and simmer for 2 minutes. Add pieces of salmon, cover, and cook for 3-5 minutes, just until salmon is cooked through. Remove from heat and toss with the cooked penne; garnish with fresh parsley.

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