RECIPE: Creamy Zucchini and Salmon Pasta


My mom has been sharing tasty-esque videos on Facebook, which is totally cute. But they are all in Italian. They are often delicious looking, but converting things to our measurements can get tedious, and don't always end up being perfect rounded numbers. 

But I did it for you for this delicious pasta dish! I am a helper. I help.

I made this dish healthier by using Neufchatel cheese-it cuts down the fat. And salmon is great in omegas and is less fatty than beef or pork. Remember to save the pasta water, it's important to use it to loosen the sauce and make it creamy and using pasta water is less fat than using cream or milk. 

As you can see, I am really trying to talk myself into feeling less guilty eating a creamy pasta dish. And it's working.

Creamy Zucchini and Salmon Pasta

Ingredients:
2 tablespoons of olive oil 
2 small cloves of garlic, minced 
1 cup finely chopped onion 
two zucchini, cubed (about 9 ounces) 

1lb. farfalle pasta cooked according to package directions
4 1/2 ounces of  Neufchatel cream cheese
3 1/2 ounces of smoked salmon cut into strips 
10 to 12 leaves of basil, chopped 
salt and pepper to taste 

Directions:
In a large pan, heat the olive oil and brown the onion and the garlic. Once golden and caramelized, add the zucchini. Brown zucchini which takes about 10 to 12 minutes. Meanwhile, in a large stockpot cook the pasta according to package directions for al dente pasta. Conserve one cup of pasta water before draining the pasta. When the zucchini are cooked, set aside about 1/4 cup of the cooked vegetables. Transfer the rest of the zucchini mixture to the empty stockpot where the pasta was boiled and return to the stove. The reason why I do this is because I like the high sides of the pot when I use the immersion blender with the zucchini. It prevents splatter. 

To the zucchini mixture add the basil, half a cup of the water, the cream cheese, a pinch of salt and pepper. Using the immersion blender to blend everything until creamy. Next add the pasta, reserved zucchini, and the smoked salmon. Toss everything, and add the other half glass of hot pasta water if too sticky and dry. Toss until everything is coated. If you need to heat things up, keep things on a very low flame while mixing everything. Serve with some grated Parmesan cheese on top.

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