When David and I lived in Atlanta, Georgia, one of the closest supermarkets to us was Whole Foods Market. I loved their great produce and the variety of ingredients I could find. But what I especially liked about going there is that Alton Brown would film scenes for his show Good Eats on the Food Network right in my local grocery store. When I saw him on TV, I could picture where he was in the store. I thought that was kind of fun.
Since they probably filmed during the day and I was at work, I never had a chance to see a scene filmed, but I did see them packing up once as I arrived.
This is a recipe from a cookbook, The Whole Foods Market Cookbook, I purchased there back in 2002 and this is one of the recipes we have made over and over and over. It is substantial but refreshing, especially as the weather gets warmer. I modified the recipe by adding more asparagus and smoked salmon than the recipe called for. I thought the original was too heavy on the pasta and not enough of the salmon and asparagus. Enjoy spring with this recipe!
Smoked Salmon, Asparagus and Spicy Pistachio Pasta
¾ – 1 cup shelled pistachios
1 – 2 teaspoons canola or grape seed oil
Salt, if necessary
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
12 – 16 ounces farfalle (bow tie) or penne rigate pasta
1 pound fresh asparagus, trimmed of tough ends and cut into 2 inch lengths
12 – 16 ounces smoked salmon, cut into bite-sized pieces or flaked into large pieces
Salt and pepper, to taste
½ – 1 cup cilantro, chopped
1 ½ tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Place the pistachios and oil in a sauté pan over medium heat. Sauté, stirring constantly for about 1 minute.
Drain the pistachios on paper towel and sprinkle them with salt and cayenne pepper. Set aside to cool.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook for 2 – 3 minutes, then add the asparagus. If you like your asparagus a bit firmer, you can add it a minute or two later. Continue to cook the pasta until it is just al dente. Drain the pasta and asparagus well and put it in large bowl.
Add the smoked salmon, cilantro, pistachios, freshly ground black pepper and olive oil. Toss and serve. If you can, serve this warm, but it also tastes great at room temperature.