from one generation to the next
I’ve culled my 40 year old cookbook collection a few times in the last couple of years. Packing stuff into boxes has that affect on me. The classics I’ve kept, books of sentimental value, well thumbed favourites with splattered pages and others I believe will one day inspire me.
In times past we ate pasta a couple of times a week. They were the days of tight budgets and rushed meals. Most of the sauces I made then were tomato based. I look for more sophisticated flavours now, although I still harbour a deep love for simple well seasoned sugo made with ripe plump tomatoes.
A thin paperback, “Lorenza’s Pasta” by Lorenza de’ Medici is a remnant of those pasta dependent days. Twice it’s been short listed for the discard pile, but in the end I keep it because each time I open it I find an idea I like, a recipe that easily lends itself to adaptation, variation and embellishment. My version of her Pancetta and Broccoli sauce has become a favourite standby but today it was the recipe for salmon and zucchini sauce to serve with farfalle that grabbed my attention.
Using ingredients I had on hand, the original morphed into a delicious creamy dressing for some “Simply Wise” brand vacuum packed gluten free potato gnocchi, a surprisingly good product that’s a great time saving short cut, although I’ll never give up on homemade potato gnocchi.
This sauce is super quick to prepare. From beginning to end it only took the time needed to bring a large pot of water to the boil and for the gnocchi to cook. This is another recipe adapted from “Lorenza’s Pasta” that with enter my pantheon of quick and easy favourites.
Zucchini, Smoked Salmon and Dill Cream Sauce for Pasta
2 tablespoons olive oil
220g, 2 medium zucchinis, thinly sliced
1/2 cup cream
180g peppered hot smoked salmon, skinned and flaked
50g anchovy stuffed green olives, sliced
Generous grinding of black pepper
2 tablespoons roughly chopped dill
20g toasted pine nuts
Heat the oil in a large pan, then saute the zucchini slices until they start to wilt.
Reduce the heat a little, add the cream, salmon and olives.
Simmer for a few minutes to heat trough then add your cooked pasta and just enough cooking water to keep the sauce loose.
Stir through the pine nuts and dill, season if necessary.
Enough sauce for 500g gnocchi or 250g penne