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It was Sunday night and I had just spent 30 minutes sorting out my spice drawer. If you think I thought it was fun…well, kinda. Maybe. Not? But it was instructive, as I rid myself of duplicate containers of spices (organic and commercial marjoram–do I even need both?), throwing out bottles that were past date (many just this month, oddly), and generally consolidating. It was gratifying, I admit, so I now only have the freshest possible dried ingredients.

Hooray. I mean, I use these spices and herbs occasionally, still preferring fresh as much as possible or practical. And my dear wife started watching me…and making suggestions on how to clean out the drawer, etc. to which I smiled back and urged her to find some other problem she could fix besides the ‘spice drawer’ (my wife is a great problem solver, but like most of us, when she is solving other people’s ‘problems’ she is simply avoiding one or another closer to home). Heh heh.

My original plan had been a quick pizza for the evening–but I had this half onion on the counter, I espied a package of smoked salmon in the fridge unopened from a previous dish, and then the wheels started to turn in my little brain. Pasta? Check. Capers? Of course. Heavy cream…but wait, I had some yogurt left. Hmmm.

I nuked the frozen pasta (you might wonder why I microwaved the pasta–it was in sheets and I still needed to cut it into thin strips), got a pot of boiling, unsalted water going (with capers and smoked salmon going into the sauce, no need for extra salt I was thinking). I tossed the diced onion and garlic into the skillet, and started to sauté them gently. I added the mix of heavy cream and yogurt to the skillet and stirred some more, as well as the capers and the smoked salmon.

But the hot water in the pot wasn’t ready yet for the pasta. I put the skillet aside to rest.

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At last the water was ready and the pasta quickly cooked. As the sauce was fairly thick, I added about a quarter cup of the pasta water to the skillet to thin it out, and then added the cooked pasta to the sauce and mix mixed.

The result was reasonably tasty, the addition of lemon juice and panko crumbs for a garnish adding a nice crunch in the mouth feel, and then some chopped parsley for color contrast. It was certainly good (wifey liked it, anyway) though I didn’t think it a stellar dish. The yogurt added a nice extra tang to the meal that I didn’t initially expect.

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