When I was in college, every spring I would make a pasta dish with chicken and fennel in a creamy lemon sauce with creme fraiche and parmesan. It was my favorite pasta dish! Since I shouldn't eat it any more because of the dairy, I decided to make a similar version, but without the cream. In order to bump up the flavor factor, I added some kale (plus kale is all the rage now!), and to mix it up, I added salmon instead of chicken.
This has become my new favorite pasta dish to make. It's so simple yet so satisfying. I will admit that I went for seconds on this one! And I didn't even miss the cream or cheese!
Salmon Pasta with Kale and Fennel
1/3 lb. salmon fillet
1 c. whole wheat penne
1 bunch kale, rinse and sliced
1 fennel bulb, sliced in half moons
1 clove garlic, minced
juice from half a lemon
Salt and pepper
1. Fill a stock pot with water and bring to a boil. Cook penne according to package directions and drain.
2. Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in sauté pan over medium heat. Salt and pepper salmon fillet. Add salmon, skin side up, and cook for 3-4 minutes, then flip over. Cook for another 3 minutes, then remove from pan and set aside.
3. Add 1 tbsp more oil to pan, then add garlic and fennel. Turn heat down to medium low and cook until fennel becomes almost tender, about 7 minutes. Add kale and cover. Cook for another 2 minutes.
4. Meanwhile, flake salmon. When kale is cooked, add salmon and pasta. Toss with lemon juice and a little more olive oil, then serve.