This is one of those dishes that is just oh so good. I’m not sure you can beat pasta with a cream sauce combined with broccoli and salmon. All of these things are my favorites and let me tell you, this hit the spot. It’s got the flavor and the protein to fill you up. It’s perfect.
When I first read through this recipe, I found it a bit lacking in the details. While there were broad, general directions, nothing inspired me and made me confident in its outcome. I knew the idea was something I would enjoy, but the execution needed some work. So I went ahead and made the recipe my own. I filled in all the gaps and I’m happy to share some instructions that should lead you down a path of goodness.
This dish isn’t complicated. You’ll need some salmon, pasta, cream, Parmesan cheese, broccoli and a few other more minor ingredients to pull it off. Really, the recipe comes in four parts; first you’ll need to cook the pasta, then the salmon, then blanch the broccoli and then put the cream sauce together. Everything will end up in a cast iron skillet and it will look marvelous. I promise.
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
4 6-Ounce Pieces of Skinless Salmon
Ground Black Pepper
2 Bunches of Broccoli, Florets Trimmed Off
2 Tablespoons All-Purpose Flour
2 Tablespoons Dijon Mustard
1 Garlic Clove, Chopped
1 Cup Heavy Whipping Cream
1 Cup Vegetable Broth
1/2 Cup Parmesan Cheese, Grated
1 Box Small Pasta Shells (Orecchiette)
I’d like to thank Southern Cast Iron for this recipe. While they prepared their version with chicken, I think it was splendid with salmon.
Cook the Pasta
Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat and add one tablespoon of salt to the water. Then, add the pasta and let cook for 10 minutes. When finished, strain the pasta through a colander and set aside.
Blanch the Broccoli
Fill the same pot again with water and add another tablespoon of salt to it. Bring to a boil over high heat. Then, add the broccoli florets to the water and let cook for approximately three minutes. The goal of blanching is to soften the broccoli enough so it’s enjoyable to eat, but to keep its bright green appearance as well. I’ve found that three minutes in boiling water is enough to soften broccoli.
Cook the Salmon
Warm a large cast iron skillet over medium heat and add the olive oil to the pan. Then, when it’s to temperature, place the salmon in the pan as well. Room temperature salmon is the best. Sprinkle a few pinches of salt and pepper over the salmon and allow to cook for a few minutes on each side. When the pink in the center just disappears, you’ll know it’s done. Remove it from the pan and set aside.
Prepare the Cream Sauce
In the same skillet over the same heat, add the flour and stir for one minute. Then, add the mustard and garlic and mix those into the flour. Next, slowly add in the cream and the broth while whisking everything that’s in the pan together. Continue until all of the liquid is added. Allow to simmer and thicken for about five minutes. Add in one teaspoon of salt and a half teaspoon of pepper. Mix that in and then add in the Parmesan cheese. Mix that in too. At the end of all this, you should have a very good tasting cream sauce.
At this point, you can turn off the heat. Go ahead and add the pasta and the broccoli to the skillet that the sauce is in and toss these ingredients until they’re covered with the sauce. Then, place the four pieces of salmon on top and serve. You can bring the entire skillet to the table and simply serve each portion right out of it or you can do that back in the kitchen. Personally, I like the look of cast iron at the table. I find it very cool.
Give this recipe a try and let me know what you think. Thanks for reading!