Simple Salmon Florentine

Something that I never used to love but I’m gradually starting to gravitate towards is serving seafood with pasta. I’ve always loved shrimp scampi, but lately I’ve been branching out by cooking with different shellfish, i.e. scallops, lobster, haddock, etc. in a variety of pasta dishes. My newest creation is this Simple Salmon Florentine. With a creamy tomato base and marinated lemon basil salmon, this will definitely earn a spot in your recipe repertoire.

Serves:  4 +/- –  Cooktime: 45 minutes – 1 hour +/-

INGREDIENTS:

SALMON:

  • 2 lbs. Fresh Caught Salmon
  • 1 Lemon, Juiced
  • 5-7 Basil Leaves, Cut into Chiffonade
  • 1/3 Cup Olive Oil
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Dried Basil Leaves
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Avocado Oil, For Cooking

SAUCE:

  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 3 Tablespoons Salted Butter
  • 2 Garlic Cloves, Minced
  • 1 Tomato, Finely Chopped
  • 1/2 Shallot, Sliced Thin
  • 1 Tablespoon Tomato Paste
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Sugar
  • 1-1/2 Cups Heavy Cream
  • 2 Large Handfuls Spinach
  • 3/4 Cup Freshly Shredded Parmesan Cheese
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Black Pepper
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Salt
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Garlic Powder
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Onion Powder
  • 1/4 Cup Fresh Parsley, Minced
  • 10 Basil Leaves, Cut into Chiffonade
  • 1 lb. Pasta, Your Choice on Shape

DIRECTIONS:

1.) To prep, smash and mince garlic cloves. Thinly slice shallots. Finely chop tomatoes, about dime-sized or smaller. Set aside. Finely mince parsley. Chiffonade basil leaves.

2.) Prep marinade for salmon by adding lemon juice, olive oil, and fresh basil leaves to a shallow baking dish. Whisk mixture together. Remove salmon from packaging and lightly salt pink side with salt, pepper, and dried basil leaves. Place skin side up in marinade for 15 minutes. Flip at the 15 minute mark to ensure an even marinade.

3.) Meanwhile, place a medium saucepan on medium heat. Add olive oil to pan and let come to temperature. Add shallots, tomatoes, and garlic and sauté for 5-7 minutes, or until tomatoes have broken down, stirring frequently. Fill a large pot with salted water and let boil on high heat.

4.) Add spinach, stirring frequently to cover with tomato mixture. After 1-2 minutes, the spinach should be completely wilted and incorporated into sauce. At this point, add all seasonings and butter. Once butter has melted, add tomato paste and sugar, and cook for another 2 minutes, until fully incorporated.

5.) Whatever pasta you choose may require different cook times. To have everything finish at the same time, make sure to check this cook time before adding to the boiling water. Most pastas (except thin spaghetti’s or angel hair), will require at least 8 to 10 minutes. If this is the case, add pasta to pot once heavy cream is added to your sauce.

6.) Preheat a medium saucepan on medium high heat. Once pan has reached the desired temperature, lightly spray a thin layer of avocado oil onto the pan to prevent the salmon from sticking to the pan while it cooks. Add salmon to pan skin side up. Cover and cook for 5 or so minutes, until salmon is browned and crispy. Flip salmon and turn down heat to medium. Cover and cook until salmon has reached an internal temperature of 145°. This should take an additional 7-8 minutes, depending on the thickness of the salmon fillet.

7.) Add heavy cream to tomato sauce mixture. Cover and let cook for 10 minutes or so. Add parmesan cheese, parsley, and fresh basil. Stir to incorporate. Turn off heat.

8.) Drain pasta and place back into the pot with a drizzle of olive oil to prevent pasta from sticking together. Plate a scoop of pasta into a dinner bowl, drizzle with a ladle of sauce, divide salmon into 4 parts, and add salmon to top of pasta. Add one more drizzle of sauce. Garnish with additional basil and enjoy!

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