Monday, April 21, 2008

Pizza Pops? Not around here! And a salmon pasta recipe.

I have been cooking. Oddly enough, when I procrastinate over everything else, I still like to get in the kitchen and bang my pots and pans around. Friday night I made a delicious, quick pasta dish that was definitely company worthy. And everything came out of the freezer! It was the perfect Friday night dish. Pour a glass of wine and feel like you are totally indulging yourself.

This recipe was for one person but you can do the math to make it for more (see word problems really do have a real life application...). I started with a salmon fillet and about 10 asparagus spears. Yup, the asparagus was frozen. Arctic Garden has a wonderful resealable package of frozen asparagus. Perfect for pasta! I just put on some rotini and while that was cooking I made the rest in a saute pan. I cut the asparagus into 1/2 inch pieces and diced the salmon also in 1/2 inch pieces. I sprayed the pan with nonstick spray. I seared the asparagus until it started to brown a little. I then added in a tablespoon of cream cheese and between 1/4 and 1/2 cup of white wine. I tossed in the salmon and cooked it for a minute or two and then added the pasta right from the water with a slotted spoon. I like to save my pasta water in case I need it to add to the sauce. I used a tablespoon of the pasta water just to make the sauce more saucy. I let it all cook together for just a minute. On a plate, sprinkle with parmesan and I had dinner! It was yummy. If guests show up unexpected I know what I'll be serving. And the cream cheese? Well you can use the light or flavoured or flavoured light - it's up to you. I would not attempt this with the fat free stuff. It's too altered to work well but I find that with most 'fat free' substitutions. Stick with reduced or light products and you'll be fine.

Okay on to Saturday night. I was feeling frisky for some stromboli. I had a pillsbury pizza dough in the fridge. About this dish - it is perfect for making ahead for after school snacks or lunches. It is great cold! Make up a batch or two on Sunday with the kids, with ingredients they like and they'll have healthy quick after school snacks all week. It's way better than those pizza pop thingies.

You can use any dough you like. I drop the heat as recommend on the package because I'm stuffing the dough so longer lower is the rule. Shape your dough in a circle or rectangle. Put in your cheese first, then your sauce then any other toppings. Fold and seal. That's it. I cooked mine at 375 for 20 minutes. I made 2 different types. One was mozzarella, spinach, red onion and goat cheese. The other was fontina and asiago cheese, pancetta, porchetta and basil. Both had my standard pizza sauce. Un-freakin-believable! So easy and so tasty!

I managed to grab this pic before there was none left. Yes, I'm home alone, what's your point? It makes a fantastic breakfast too...

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