Get into summer full swing with this light lemon garlic pasta with salmon. Full of fresh, summer flavors!
Here’s one of my favorite light, summery, sunny type pastas. This light lemon garlic pasta with salmon also has the good fortune of being healthy!
It’s all about simplicity and freshness. With fresh basil, garlic, lemon juice, olive oil, capers and salmon, you practically have summer on a plate.
And to top it off, for a tiny bit of decadence, we’ll sprinkle some Parmesan loving on it. There’s no cream sauce to carry it so this is all about the goodness and tastiness of high quality olive oil mixed with fresh, awesome flavors.
HOW TO MAKE LIGHT LEMON GARLIC PASTA WITH SALMON (1 MIN):
LIGHT LEMON GARLIC PASTA TIPS AND TRICKS:
Start off by cooking the pasta. I went with rigatoni for this recipe but you can use any kind of pasta you like: spaghetti, linguine, fettuccine, pappardelle or other tube-type pastas. If you want it even healthier, sub with whole wheat pasta instead.
While the pasta cooks, season your salmon fillets with salt and pepper to taste and bake it until cooked. You can also pan-sear the salmon for a something crispier, about 3-5 minutes per side, depending on thickness. However you decide to prep your salmon, make sure to flake or cube it into bite-sized pieces so there’s enough to go around once we mix it all up later.
Mince the garlic, chop the basil and get your lemon rind ready while the pasta and salmon cooks. As usual, I’m gonna advocate using a microplane for grating your rind and Parmesan cheese. It’s worth it.
Drain the pasta and mix it all up with some good quality olive oil. You’ll want something high quality because this will be the ‘sauce’ that binds the flavors together, so it has be delicious. I used extra virgin olive oil here. If you don’t know the difference between regular olive oil, virgin olive oil and extra virgin olive oil, here’s a great guide explaining it. Feel free to add more olive oil if you feel the pasta is a bit too dry for your liking and be sure to add some while heating up any leftovers.
Now it’s time to add in some fresh basil to the pasta. If you can’t justify getting fresh basil for just one dish and don’t have any growing in your garden, an alternative is to use lightly dried basil from Gourmet Garden. It looks like this and you should be able to find it in the fresh vegetable aisle in your grocery store. They smell fresher than the usual dried herbs and keep long in the fridge. Throw in some freshly minced garlic with some salt and pepper to taste, then toss the pasta to mix.
Then we add fresh lemon juice, lemon zest and capers to the pasta for some citrus flavor. By now the salmon should be cooked, so flake it then add it to the pasta. Be gentle during the tossing so you don’t end up with salmon shreds.
Baking time of the salmon will vary depending on how thick your fillet is. The standard rule of thumb is to cook for 10 minutes per inch of thickness which is measured from the salmon’s thickest point. If you start getting too much whitish stuff, you’ve cooked it too long.
And you’re ready to serve. Now the fun part begins by plating the pasta and topping it with freshly grated or shaved Parmesan cheese. I prefer shaved cause every now and then I find a Parmesan shaving and it feels like you’ve discovered some treasure. Also, if you happen to like olives, this pasta really goes well with it!
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