This salmon pasta made with tortellini in a cream garlic sauce, is big on taste but low on effort, uses a number of cheat ingredients and takes less than 10 minutes to cook.
I appreciate that this creamy garlic salmon pasta is one of the most lazy recipes that I have published for ages, but it is still delicious, and just because something is low on effort it does not mean that it cannot taste great surely?
Last week was odd. Come the middle of September, it is usually cooling down in London, we can still have gloriously warm days, but the nights are generally cooler. Instead there was a massive heat wave with temperatures, and humidity soaring to July levels of stickiness. On top of the unexpected heat wave I caught a bug from somewhere and have been feeling full of cold and distinctly below par, listless and really not up to much. Easy and strongly flavoured food was firmly on the menu to encourage me to eat.
I try to keep a well stocked freezer for precisely these situations – I reckon that I can make several good meals from the contents of my freezer and cupboard at any one time. Frozen food is often fresher than fresh – due to the speed at which it goes from being caught, picked or harvested to frozen. This is especially true of fish, which is at its absolute best the fresher it is, which for most consumers will be frozen.
Last year I had a voyage on a frozen at sea fishing boat, and the speed at which the fish are caught, prepared and then frozen is truly astonishing. The fish come out of the sea and are immediately sent to the on-board factory to be gutted, filleted, packed and blast frozen. Unless you catch it yourself, and cook it on the boat, you cannot get fresher than that. If you think about the journey that fresh fish takes to reach a supermarket, from boat, to local fish market, to packaging plant, to shop to you, it is easily going to be two days old by the time it gets into your kitchen. There is a reason that the majority of, at least inland, fish and chip shops in the UK use frozen at sea fish – that the freshness and the quality are simply better.
Iceland has a range of freshly frozen fish, and I used a bag of salmon fillets (4 for £6), which are Good Housekeeping Approved. they will cook from frozen in the microwave in 3 minutes or, you can defrost and cook in any way you want.
I made a very simple sauce for my salmon pasta, by frying some ready chopped frozen onion, adding a large chunk of Boursin cream cheese, a handful of wilting rocket leaves and served with Iceland ricotta and spinach fresh tortellini (a bargain at £1 a packet). If you make a pasta sauce that needs thinning skim off a little of the pasta cooking water, it will be full of starch and will add a silky smoothness to your sauce. Once opened you can freeze any leftover fresh pasta and cook from frozen when you want it.
- 1 knob butter
- 2 tbs ready chopped frozen onion
- 40 g / 1/2 packet garlic and herb cheese
- leaves handful rocket - chopped
- Squeeze lemon
- 1 in salmon fillet - cooked the microwave
- 1 x 250g packet fresh filled pasta
Melt the butter in a frying pan and fry the onion until starting to turn golden. Add the cheese and stir over a low heat until it has melted.
Whilst the onion is frying cook the salmon and bring a large pan of water to the boil for the pasta.
Cook the pasta for about two minutes, when it is cooked it will turn paler in colour and float to the top of the pan.
Skim off some of the pasta water and add it to the onions and cheese to make a coating sauce. Flake or cut the salmon into 1cm cubes and add to the sauce along with the chopped rocket and lemon juice. Stir to wilt the rocket.
Drain the pasta and return to the saucepan.
Pour over the sauce, gently stir; so as not to break up the fish, and serve immediately with a wedge of lemon and a garnish of fresh herbs.
- This recipe is 17 Weight Watchers Smart Points per portion
As well as their award winning frozen fish, Iceland also have a range of new frozen seafood ready meals, that you can cook in a speed 9 minutes from frozen. We tried the Frutti di Mare (£3.50), a mix of mussels, squid, clams and shrimp in a tomato and herb sauce. The instructions suggest that you serve with pasta, but we had ours with rice. It is a generous portion, richly flavoured with lots of seafood in it, making a very quick, but good meal. It is certainly one to keep in the freezer for the evenings that you do not really want to cook, but ordering a takeaway seems extravagant. I think they would work equally well in a risotto, or as a soup or stew.
For more ideas using Iceland’s frozen fish why not try
- Claire’s Salmon & pesto rice bake
- Camilla’s grilled salmon with citrus tamari dressing
- Bintu’s salmon polenta bowls with roasted tomatoes and pesto
Recipe for salmon pasta in a creamy garlic & herb sauce commissioned by Iceland for their Power of Frozen campaign. All opinions our own.