I began making this dish with every intention of following Giada’s recipe “Whole-Wheat Spaghetti with Lemon, Basil and Salmon” from her new book. However, those plans quickly went out the window when I went out to my patio garden and began harvesting the basil, green onion, and other herbs for this dish. I ended up not really following the recipe and just did my own thing. I did use Giada’s ideas for this recipe and want to give her credit for that. One of these days, I’ll actually follow her recipe and post the results on here. :)
I added the oregano just because my oregano plant has been growing quite well and needed to be harvested a bit. However, I don’t think it added much to this dish and you can leave it out if you like. The lemon juice gives this dish a nice crisp and refreshing flavor. It made me think of spring or warm summer days. Hubs thought it tasted just a bit too lemony while I thought it was just right. Keeping that in mind, you may want to start with the juice of 1/2 lemon, tasting and adding more to your preferences.
Fettuccine with Lemon, Basil and Grilled Salmon
1 12-oz box of fettuccine noodles
Approx 1 bunch baby spinach leaves, washed and dried
Approx 1 cup fresh basil leaves, washed and chopped
3 T capers, drained
1 green onion, diced (green parts only)
6-7 oregano leaves, chopped
4 4-0z salmon fillets
2 garlic cloves, minced
Freshly ground black pepper
3 T. extra-virgin olive oil plus more for the salmon
Begin by heating a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. While waiting for the water to boil, prepare the grill. I used our electric Cuisinart grill (as always). Lightly oil both sides of each salmon fillet, then generously season both sides with salt and pepper. When the grill is ready, lay salmon fillets down and allow to cook, undisturbed, until the bottom half is done, then flip over and cook on the other side. The salmon is done when the fish flakes easily with a fork. Remove from heat and place on a plate, covering loosely with aluminum foil.
The pot of water should be boiling by now–add the fettuccine to the pot and cook according to the box instructions, stirring occasionally, approximately 8-10 minutes until the pasta is al dente. Drain.
Meanwhile, in a large bowl, add the spinach, basil, capers, green onions and oregano. Squeeze the lemon juice into a separate bowl to ensure no seeds accidentally fall into the pasta dish, then add the lemon juice into the large bowl. Also add the fettuccine, minced garlic, extra-virgin olive oil, salt and pepper. Mix well, tossing to combine.
Plate dishes with pasta and top with a piece of salmon. Serve immediately.