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Spaghetti with lemon, basil and salmon

Earlier this summer, I set out to make Giada’s Spaghetti with Lemon, Basil and Salmon, but got side-tracked. This time, I stuck to Giada’s recipe and the results are fabulous.  I liked my first attempt a lot too, otherwise it wouldn’t have made it on this blog.  However, Giada’s version has that extra burst of citrus flavor from the lemon zest, which I love.

The original recipe called for whole-wheat spaghetti.  We’re not big fans of whole-wheat pasta so I purposely used regular spaghetti noodles for this recipe.  I also used three cloves of garlic, instead of the one clove that was called for, but otherwise, those are the only changes I made.

Spaghetti with Lemon, Basil and Salmon, adapted from Giada de Laurentiis’ book Giada’s Kitchen

1/2 lb spaghetti
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 T extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 t kosher salt, plus more for seasoning
1/2 t freshly ground black pepper, plus more for seasoning
1 T olive oil
4 (4-ounce) salmon fillets
1/4 c chopped fresh basil leaves
3 T capers, rinsed and drained
Zest of 1 lemon
2 T freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 c fresh baby spinach leaves, washed and dried

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat.  Add the pasta and cook according to the package instructions until it is al dente, about 8-10 minutes.  Drain the pasta and transfer to a large bowl.  Add the minced garlic, extra-virgin olive oil, salt and pepper.  Toss to combine.

In a medium skillet, warm the olive oil over medium-high heat.  Season both sides of the salmon fillets with salt and pepper.  Add the fish to the pan and cook until medium rare, about 2 minutes per side, depending on the thickness of the fish.  Remove the salmon from the pan.

Add the basil, capers, lemon zest, and lemon juice to the spaghetti and toss to combine.  Set out 4 shallow bowls or serving plates.  Place 1/2 cup of spinach in each bowl.  Top with one quarter of the pasta.  The warmth of the pasta will wilt the spinach.  Top each mound of pasta with a salmon fillet.  Serve immediately.

Serves 4.

Spaghetti with lemon, basil and salmon, overhead