Celebrate Spring by brightening up your pasta dishes with healthy greens and refreshing flavors!
I love pasta all-year-round, from comforting wintery lasagna cupcakes, to light summer pasta salads, no matter the season pasta is always a tasty choice. But spring pasta dishes are some of my favorites,thanks to their colorful and refreshing flavors.
This Lemony Salmon Spinach Fusilli is absolutely lovely and one of the most quick & easy pasta recipes out there. All you need is a pot for the pasta, a non-stick wok (a frying-pan is ok too) for the sauce and some of the best spring ingredients.
Fresh cherry tomatoes, baby spinach & basil leaves, and tender salmon chunks all cook together in just 5 mins, bursting out with fresh flavors. A nice glug of Extravirgin olive oil, lemon zest and freshly cracked black pepper, and in less than 15 min you’re ready to fork it all up.
Salmon & spinach is the perfect combo for this spring inspired pasta recipe. The tangy lemon zest adds plenty of fresh and vibrant flavors and makes a great contrast to the richness of the fish.
Although spinach leaves are easy to find all-year-round, local tender baby leaves are a real spring treat, so pick them up fresh at the veg&fruit market if are available. Spinach has plenty of nutrients including a great amount of Vitamin A + K, antioxidants, fiber and protein. In a nutshell, this fantastic leafy green is packed with good stuff for you.
Salmon is loaded with heart-healthy, brain-boosting omega-3 fats. It adds extra nutrients to this pasta dish, making a well balanced main course. Whenever possible, choose wild salmon over farmed fish. It doesn’t only taste better, but it’s definitely healthier. Here is a helpful guide on how to buy the healthiest salmon.
If you want to make these beautiful veggies really stand out, make sure you pair them with the right pasta.There are 2 main different kind of pasta you can choose from: fresh pasta and dry pasta. I will focus on dry pasta, which we enjoy more often, but if you have a little time to spend in the kitchen, try homemade fresh pasta, a whole different level in terms of flavor and texture.
Dry Pasta: Look for good quality durum wheat & traditional bronze dies
When choosing your pasta, take time to read the ingredients list on the package. Compared to most commercial dry pasta available in grocery stores (which often contain additives), a good quality pasta is made with only two ingredients: durum wheat semolina flour and water.
If you want to enjoy cooking and eating pasta at its best, my advice is to buy good-quality dried pasta. Yes, it costs a little more, but we’re talking about £0.50-£1 difference per package and it’s worth every single penny.
There are a few Italian brands that make very good pasta and are internationally available, one of the best is Garofalo. I love the authentic taste of their pasta, especially since is made in the birthplace of pasta, Gragnano. Most importantly, Garofalo uses bronze dies to shape the pasta cuts.
Bronze died pasta is obtained by passing the dough through special moulds made of bronze. This process gives pasta a rough surface that attracts and binds the sauce perfectly. The big industrial factories use Teflon-coated dies which work faster but also give the pasta a slicker surface, and thus, make it less receptive to holding sauce.
I’ve used Garofalo Fusilli, their spiral shaped design makes them perfect for holding chunky sauces and are easy to fork. Highly recommended for picnics and outdoor parties!
If you fancy long-cuts, you should also try this salmon spinach pasta with spaghetti or even better linguine – It’s definitely on my to-do list. And also, if you’re pasta lover, make sure you try these super quick homemade pesto fusilli – A quick treat for every day of the week.
Lemony Spinach & Salmon Fusilli
- 160 gr / 6oz Garofalo Fusillipasta
- 150 gr / 5oz fresh cleaned salmon fillet cut into cubes
- 175 g / 1cup halved cherry tomatoes
- 5-6 fresh basil leaves
- 225 gr / 1 cup fresh spinach leaves
- 1 shallot finely minced
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- a pinch of brown sugar
- salt & black pepper
- Heat a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Toss in the pasta and cook until al dente, about 9 min.
- In the meantime, heat the olive oil in a large skillet over med-low heat. Add in the shallots and sautee' until soft.
- Fold the tomatoes in, season with salt, pepper and a pinch of sugar. Cook for about 5 mins, stirring every now and then.
- Add chopped salmon into the pan and stir-fry for 2 mins. Finally fold in basil and spinach leaves and cook for 4 more mins, or until the greens soften and salmon is cooked through.
- Drain pasta and toss into the pan with the other ingredients.
- Add freshly grated lemon zest. mix all ingredients together and remove from the heat.
- Season with extra freshly cracked black pepper and serve immediately.Enjoy!