Sometimes, only comfort food will do.
Maybe it's the windy, rainy weather. Maybe it was the rather stressful Friday and Saturday I spent co-ordinating a training seminar for nearly 100 people in Croydon last weekend. Or the nasty tummy bug I had 3 days earlier…
Whatever the reason, last Monday when I got home from work, the only thing I wanted was something warm and comforting that wasn't going to take all night to make. And preferably using stuff I already had in my store cupbord and fridge!
So what did I find when I opened my store cupboard? Well, for a start, there was a tin of red salmon, and then the tetrapaks of tomato caught my eye. Tetrapaks of tomato, I hear you ask? Surely you mean tomato juice? No, I mean the tetrapaks of chopped tomato, kindly sent to me a while back by Cirio, an Italian company that has been in the tinned tomato business since the 1800s. They recently launched a range of chopped tomatoes in 390g tetrapaks rather than tins, which are esier to store and fully recyclable. The current flavours apart from plain are onion & garlic; chilli; and basil – and it is the latter that I used in this recipe.
The Cirio tetrapaks are indeed very easy to open – never mind no can opener, you don't even need scissors, thanks to the easy-tear perforated strip. The contents also pleased me because unlike some chopped tomato brands, the Cirio tetrapaks definitely contain more solid tomato chunks than liquid. And then there is the taste. One of the things my mom taught me from a young age was that when you use tinned tomatoes, always add a teaspoon of sugar to counter the acidity. Well, that was because my mom was not familiar with Cirio products. The tomatoes were so naturally sweet that I left the sugar out of the recipe, and the Cirio website confirms that the concentration of natural sugars in their tetrapaks is indeed higher than in fresh tomatoes – and my tastebuds agree! (Apparently there's even more concentrated natural sugar in the Cirio 70g pots of double-concentrated tomato paste, but I've yet to try my sample pots.) The Cirio products are available in Sainsbury, Waitrose and Morrison's as well as indepentent grocers and delicatessens – and they are definitely worth trying.
This recipe is pasted into my recipe index book and was part of a John West tinned salmon promotion tht I clipped in South Africa many years ago, back when I lived in a country where fresh salmon was near-unaffordably expensive :) It's made with the kind of ingredients that I always have on hand, and it's both seriously delicious and perfectly comforting. In the interests of full disclosure, I have say that I used linguine instead of tagliatelle this time, and that I must give due credit for the deliciousness of the dish to the excellent Setaro pasta that I used. We picked up a couple of packs of their linguine on a previous Italian trip and I am now sorry we did not bring back an entire suitcase – it's that good. If anbody knows where I can get it in the UK, please spill the beans (alternatively my US friends now know what to send me for Christmas as it appears to be freely available there!)
SALMON TAGLIATELLE (serves 4)
1 large onion, finely chopped
30ml olive oil
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 x 410g tin chopped tomatoes (I used the Cirio 390g tetrapak)
5 ml sugar (not necessary if using Cirio!)
salt and freshly ground black pepper
10 ml fresh or dried dill
1 x 410g tin red salmon, drained
200ml white wine
60ml chopped parsley
150ml single cream
Sauté the onion in the oil until soft, then add the garlic and sauté for a further minute, taking care not to burn it. Add the chopped tomatoes, sugar, salt, pepper and dill and simmer for about 5 minutes. Add the drained salmon and wine and simmer for another five mintes. Add the parsley and cream. In the meantime, cook the tagliatelle in plenty of salted water until it is al dente. Serve topped with the salmon sauce and some grated Parmiggiano cheese (optional).
I am submitting this as my entry into this week's Presto Pasta Nights, the event started by the lovely Ruth of Once Upon a Feast and hosted this week by Deb of Kahakai Kitchen. Incidentally, I got to know both of these lovely, talented ladies a whole lot better when they volunteered to help with the BloggerAid Cook Book recently. I'm excited to say that this book, featuring 130 tried and tested recipes from food bloggers around the world is now available to purchase online with 100% of the royalties going to the UN World Food Programme's School Meals Programme. Your $30 could make a big difference to a small child.