May 4, 2009

Conchiglie al Salmone e Piselli

Lately, if you were to stop by our house for a glass of wine and a bite to eat, you might wonder where you are. Is this still France? Because the food coming out of my little kitchen certainly doesn't look like French food...

It isn't.
For the last month or so I've been craving all things Italian.

Except for French cheese of course. But that goes without saying.

There has been a crazy amount of frittata, pasta, pizza and risotto cooking going on. Why these four Italian dishes in particular?
  • we don't eat a lot of meat and they're delicious when made with fresh vegetables
  • they're economical (unless you want to whip up something like this)
  • they're easy to make
  • they're perfect for using up little leftover bits of this and that

The most recent pasta concoction used up three quarters of a bag of conchiglie pasta, a handful of frozen baby peas, half a package of smoked salmon and a slug of cream.
Oh, and some fresh chèvre. Just a little reminder that we still live in la belle France.

Conchiglie al Salmone e Piselli (e formaggi caprini)
serves 4
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 shallots, finely chopped
  • 1 cup frozen petit pois, defrosted
  • 4 ounces thinly sliced smoked salmon, chopped into 1/4 - inch pieces
  • 1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon whipping cream
  • 4 ounces fresh chèvre
  • 1 pound conchiglie (or farfalle)
  • freshly ground black pepper
  1. Heat the butter and olive oil together in a frying pan over medium heat and sautée the shallots until golden.
  2. Add the peas and cook for 3 minutes.
  3. Add the smoked salmon, season with salt and freshly ground black pepper, and cook for 2 minutes.
  4. Turn down the heat to low, stir in the cream and the chèvre, and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, cook the pasta in plenty of boiling, salted water until al dente, according to package directions.
  6. Drain, reserving some of the pasta cooking water, and add the pasta to the sauce.
  7. Stir well over low heat until the sauce has thickened slightly and the pasta is coated. Add a bit of the reserved water if necessary to create a rich, creamy sauce.
  8. Serve immediately with more freshly ground pepper if necessary.

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A Gutsy Cherry Tomato, Garlic, Arugula and Feta Cheese Pasta Sauce Recipe
Still Eating as Much Asparagus as Possible...

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Veronica said...

ooh, those photos have me drooling! I love simple pasta dishes like this.

But why did you have to post that link to foie gras risotto?? So cruel -- I'm *really* hungry now!

Anne in Oxfordshire said...

yeah what is going on over there:-)

I don't mind at all though, little variety doesn't do anyone any harm..I do love Italian food though, seriously, cannot live without pasta!!

I love your new header!!

Peter M said...

I adore this dish...the ingredients, the used of shells to catch sauce and salmon.

Alison said...

I'm so going to make this tonight for dinner! Except I'm going to use tiny farfalle. And I probably won't read your recipe. LOL. (It's not you, it's me. I rarely use a recipe. Which is why I will never write a cookbook.)

Hey, one pasta I always loved to use with frozen peas was orecchiette. Those little ears make a perfect catcher's mitt!

Alison said...

I meant "one pasta I FRANCE," because I've never seen orecchiette here!

Paulita said...

Can I replace the salmon with ham since my kids won't eat salmon? It looks great and my athletic teenagers always need more carbs.

parlezvouskiwi said...

That looks seriously delicious.

Am going to try and make this one.

I loooooved the food in Italy. Thin pizzas. Tasty pasta. Diiivine.

Sandy said...

I will try it this weekend. Thanks for that.

wcs said...

You know I have to make this now, right?

The Bold Soul said...

Oh, wow... it's 10:15 am and now I'm hungry for lunch... this looks DELICIOUS. Will try soon, bet the family will like it too. Thanks!

Loulou said...

I'm making this dish again soon. Probably not the foie gras risotto though...maybe for autumn.

I don't think we could live without pasta either.

The shells are perfect for catching the sauce. Let me know if you try it.

We love orecchiette too but can't always find it. Looks like you did just fine with the mini farfalle and ignoring the recipe! :)

Sure, give it a try and please let me know how it comes out.

We love the food in Italy too. Last time we were in Lucca there was this little restaurant that changed their menu daily, so we ate there 3 times in 7 days. It was fabulous! Especially the pasta.

You're welcome. Hope you enjoy it!

So, did you? :)

The Bold Soul
We had it as a late night dinner and it disappeared very quickly. I'm sure your family will enjoy it.

Ken Broadhurst said...

Loulou, I'll speak for WCS: tomorrow! With fresh salmon, though, because we have some, and probably penne pasta.

Nadege said...

Funny, as I was reading "News from France", this french gentleman was commenting about restaurants in Paris (cuisine from the Southwest of France, the best cuisine in the world). I couldn't disagree more.
Italian cuisine is great, as well as Thai, Indian... I would get tired of always eating the same kind of (fatty) food. That dish looks delicious.

Garry said...

Isn't it funny to think that your post has made people all around the world crave pasta.
I read your posting at 8am Calgary, Canada time and thought "I know what i am having for dinner tonight" but at 11.30 am I left work and went to a nearby Italian reasturant and had them make me pasta and peas..I couldnt wait for dinner! I was starving!!!

So would you mind giving me your email address so I can send you my "lunch expense report!"

I mean you have to be made responsible for your postings!


Melanie said...

Mmmmmmm . . . it's so pretty!

Loulou said...


I love the food from the Southwest of France. All that duck and duck fat! Sublime stuff! But no, I couldn't eat it every day.

I cannot be held responsible for your lack of self control.

And delicious.

Paola said...

Oh my that looks good! Aren't simple meals just the best?? I'm definitely going to give this a try soon. :)

Betty C. said...

I'm assuming the wine is still French too, right?

Loulou said...

I usually keep things simple around here. I love to cook but it isn't often that I go all out and make elaborate meals.
Hope you enjoy it as much as we did!

But of course! I have to help support my neighbors. :)

Paulita said...

I made it with ham instead of salmon and everyone loved it. I used farfalle instead of shells and the sauce didn't seem to be enough. I might increase it by half next time, because I definitely needed all of the pasta for my family. Oh, it was so easy to prepare too. Thanks

Loulou said...

A few tablespoons of the pasta water can make the sauce stretch, if it doesn't need to be increased too much. That's why I always keep a bit for sauces like this.
Increasing the sauce would be good, too!
Glad you liked it. Thanks for letting me know.

Dazy said...

That's my kind of meal when I am alone. That and a glass of wine and a chick movie! Looks perfect!

Loulou said...

That sounds like a perfect combination! :)

Lylah Ledner said...


Lost In Cheeseland said...

Love this! Adding it to my Fall recipe line-up :)

Chez Loulou said...

It is Yum! :) Let me know if you give it a try.

The chèvre is so perfect with the smoked salmon and peas. It is one of our favorite dishes. Hope you like it!