Salmon Pasta with Vodka Cream Sauce
Years ago, when we lived in NYC, one of my favorite restaurants was La Focaccia. Sadly, it’s closed now, but it was a fantastic Italian restaurant in Greenwich Village (Bank & 4th) that had handmade pasta and wood-burning ovens. We made the trek from way uptown down to this tiny restaurant many times and I always ordered the same thing–homemade pasta with salmon and vodka cream sauce. It was delicious, so I have recreated it in my own kitchen. Of course it’s not quite the same as what I had at La Focaccia, but still a definite crowd pleaser!
pasta (La Focaccia always used bow-tie pasta)
2-3 salmon filets, cut into chunks
1 small onion, diced
1 28-oz can crushed tomatoes
2 oz vodka
butter (for sautéing the onion)
season with salt, pepper, and cayenne
Cook the pasta while you work on the sauce.
In a large saute pan, cook the onion over medium heat in a bit of butter until soft. Add the salmon and cook for a few minutes. Remove pan from heat and add 2 oz of vodka. Return pan to heat and stir while the vodka is absorbed. Before adding the tomatoes, remove the salmon from the pan and set it aside (you don’t want to overcook the salmon). Now add the crushed tomatoes into the pan and bring it to a simmer. Add a splash (or two) of heavy cream and stir. You want the sauce to be a pink-ish color–nice and creamy. Let the sauce simmer and thicken a bit–season with salt, pepper and a pinch of cayenne. Add the salmon back into the sauce before serving over pasta.
*If your kids don’t like salmon, this can still be a family-friendly dinner by serving them pasta and sauce without any salmon bites. This works at my house!