Zesty smoked salmon tagliatelle: Luxury made easy

I love to cook- well, I guess that’s a little obvious. What I mean is that I like cooking for others. Some people get pleasure from experimenting with flavors, textures or aesthetics. Although I love all of the above, what I love most is enjoying food with others. Whether cooking for friends or the boyfriend it makes no difference, food is for sharing who ever it maybe.

Now barring in mind that I get my foodie kicks from feeding others, the distinct and notable absence of boyfriend in the summer months puts a dampener on everyday meals. Why? well because I get very little pleasure for cooking for myself, so much so that I’m going to end up looking like a poached egg soon. Oozy eggs are my default meal for one.

The boyfriend doesn’t work away in the summer months and unless you count sport as a relationship issue, there isn’t any particular drama that means he’s not home for dinner. From March until September I am officially widowed in favor of the exhilarating sport of cricket.

The negatives of an absentee boyfriend is a simple but fundamental one. The lack of company- person to cook for on a daily basis means that I lose my kitchen mojo. I just can’t be bothered.

The positives are that I can shop in peace without the obligatory man comments of ‘I’m sure you have a top just like the one’. I can also indulge in fish! I love fish and seafood but rarely eat it at home. The boyfriend has a severe olfactory meltdown when the smell of fish is in the kitchen, fridge or anywhere else in the home.

Since culinary motivation is low, simple EASY fish dishes are a must. This usually takes the form of smoked salmon with default eggs. However on rare occasions when the conditions are right, I might just throw together a simple but oh so delicious pasta dish.

Cook up some fresh or dried linguine/tagliatelle as per instructions. Zest a large lemon or to taste, slice up some smoked salmon and chop up some fresh dill, parsley or chives (if you have them). Once the pasta is cooked, drain- saving a little of the pasta liquor (approx a tbsp or 2). Pop the liquor, pasta, smoked salmon, lemon zest, herb of your choice & a large dollop of crème fraîche or cream cheese. Give it a mix, making sure every strand of the pasta is coasted in the glossy lemon infused sauce.

If required and this is largely down to personal taste add a squeeze of lemon juice and plenty of freshly ground black pepper. The key principle of this dish is that it is fresh, light and packs a punch. Easy and quick to prepare, minimal effort, minimal washing up. A great meal for a single gal who has been ditched for a maiden. A little bit of luxury made simple.

Variations can include adding pea’s or asparagus; poached flaked salmon would make a good addition if smoked just isn’t your thing. You could even add some chilli if you fancy a little bit of bite. What ever you fancy goes, make it easy and make it tasty.

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