Bending The Rules (Lemon Parmesan Pasta with Grilled Salmon)

I am (and always will be) rule-oriented.  I can’t help it; it’s in my DNA.

(The Man Of Few Words teases me about it occasionally — he nicknamed me “Miss OSHA.”)

Life (for me) feels better when I follow the rules.  Except when I’m in the kitchen.

There, all rules (real or imaginary) begin to relax a little — bend a little — and I find myself embracing rebellion.

“It’s a no-no to serve fish with cheese.”  Really?

(Profuse apologies to Scott Conant, whom I admire very much.)

At my dinner table, cheese periodically finds its way onto the same plate as a creature of the sea.  Gasp!

Call me food-rule-disrespectful, but it tastes good!  Of course, I’m mindful of “which cheese” with “what fish,” so as not to overwhelm the delicate flavor of said fish (my fellow “rule followers” will appreciate the amount of research behind that statement…) and when push comes to shove, I’ll serve it on the side, like I did this Lemon Pasta.

Laced with lemon juice and laden with shredded Parmesan (cheese…), it was the perfect accompaniment for a hot-off-the-grill slab of salmon, if I do say so myself.  (Actually, I couldn’t say so myself — my mouth was too busy enjoying the flavor.)

A quick note about my pale-looking asparagus, though… I forgot to dunk it in ice water after I blanched it.  Gasp!  (tee hee)  Maybe my DNA is restructuring.  I feel more relaxed about “rules” already.

Bending the rules (or forgetting them altogether) still makes for a mighty tasty meal.

Lemon Parmesan Pasta with Grilled Salmon

(pasta recipe adapted from a very old issue of Bon Appetit)

1 salmon filet per person, grilled until fish flakes easily with a fork

2 T. extra virgin olive oil, divided

1/4 c. pine nuts

1 large onion, chopped

1 T. finely minced garlic

1/2 t. red pepper flakes (or to taste)

1/4 t. Kosher salt

1/4 t. freshly ground black pepper

1/2 c. chopped Kalamata olives

2 T. capers, rinsed and drained

1 lb. pasta noodles (your choice), cooked and drained

1/2 c. shredded Parmesan cheese (reserve some for garnish)

Juice of 1 large lemon

1/4 t. ground thyme (or 1 tsp. finely minced fresh thyme)

In a large skillet over medium heat, saute pine nuts in 1 tablespoon olive oil until lightly browned; remove and set aside.

Add remaining oil to skillet; increase heat to medium-high.  Add onion; cook until softened, about 5 minutes.

Stir in garlic, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper, olives and capers; cook 1 minute.  Remove from heat.

Add cooked pasta, pine nuts, Parmesan, lemon juice, and thyme; toss to coat.  Serve with additional Parmesan cheese.  And fish.

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Enjoying bending the rules now and then,

~ Kim

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13 thoughts on “Bending The Rules (Lemon Parmesan Pasta with Grilled Salmon)

  1. I have been in a pasta mood for the past two weeks. Perhaps because I’m in a cast and feeling the desire for comfort food? I don’t know. What I DO know is I am loving the sound of lemon and capers and Kalamata olives. Here’s to breaking a few more food rules!

  2. I didn’t know there was a rule about cheese and fish. I think cheese goes with everything. :)

    The lemon parmesan pasta sounds fabulous! I’m going to have to attempt it.

  3. Oh, yes, I know I’m a rule breaker, too…and it probably cost me an apron when I was on season 2 of MasterChef…yes, I made the mortal sin of serving cheese with fish…but, hey, my tastebuds and those of my taste-testers loved it…so does that makes us uncouth??? lol!! Great post, Kimby girl!! xo Ally

  4. I’m with ya–in fact, there’s an awesome recipe on Tasty Kitchen for tilapia with Parmesan (I think broiled? maybe baked?). I don’t think fish and cheese are necessarily at odds.

  5. I am the same way about rules…except in the kitchen too. It’s ok to go wild in there. Most of the time it turns out really well. That salmon and pasta (and asparagus) looks divine. I LOVE lemon pasta so I will have to replicate your rebellion meal soon…hope things are cooler in your neck of the woods!

  6. I’m the exact opposite; I need rules in the kitchen and no where else :) This is one of the reasons I’m so happy with this recipe. Another one is that it looks soooo delish – I will make it for dinner tomorrow.

  7. What a great dinner Kim. Not that this in comparison to what I’m about to share, but my mom use to mix Tuna into the Kraft Mac & Cheese dinner she would make for us. So cheese & fish are OK to me.

  8. Thank you Kimby for this wonderful Pasta dish! I love salmon and I think the way you combined my favourite ingredients here in this meal is really going to make it rock in my dining table as well!! Can’t wait to try the recipe!!!!

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