Pasta with hot-smoked salmon

Try making your own hot-smoked salmon for this easy pasta dish made with chilli-flavoured vodka. Or buy it from a good-quality supplier to save time and effort.

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  1. Put the pasta in a large pan filled with boiling salted water and boil according to packet instructions.

  2. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large frying pan and fry the onion and garlic over a medium heat until soft, but not coloured – about five minutes.

  3. Add a pinch of salt, bearing in mind that the salmon will be salty already, and a generous pinch of black pepper.

  4. Pour in the chilli vodka and ignite if you wish (take care to stand back until any flames have subsided) or simply leave for a couple of minutes to burn off the alcohol.

  5. Flake the salmon into the pan and pour in the cream. Cook over a low heat until the sauce has thickened and the pasta is al dente.

  6. Drain the pasta through a colander and add it to the pan with the salmon and cream. Toss through gently so as not to break up the salmon further and serve with a sprinkling of fresh parsley.

Recipe Tips

To make hot-smoked salmon, you will need salmon fillets. The size doesn’t matter, but thicker pieces will take longer than thin. Sprinkle a thin layer of fine sea salt over the base of a lasagne dish or similar and arrange the salmon fillets, skin-side down, on top. Sprinkle some more salt over the surface of the fish, cover the dish with cling film and set aside to cure in the fridge for about one hour. Rinse the fillets briefly under the tap and pat dry on kitchen paper. Arrange on a wire rack in the fridge or a cool room to dry for 30 minutes or so to form a pellicle. Hot smoke in a shop-bought smoker for 20-45 minutes according to manufacturer’s instructions. Once the fish is cooked it should feel firm to the touch. Alder, maple, beech or oak are sound choices of wood for smoking.