There is this little Italian restaurant here in e-town that I used to frequent every now and then, and they have a dish called the Fusili Al Pacifico that I LOVED to order. Smoked salmon, olive oil, peas, sundried tomatoes, and lemon, all tossed together with the starchy, carby, goodness that is pasta.
Unfortunately, although my mouth loves pasta, my stomach does not. Even in Italy I partook in pasta meals very few and far between because it just doesn’t sit well. I’m not really sure why, I’m not gluten intolerant, and whole grains (including wheat) are typically fine in my system, but I think white flour is the culprit, and not many restaurant offer whole grain options!
So needless to say, I don’t go to that little Italian restaurant much anymore, and I don’t eat the adored Fusili Al Pacifico.
The hubby is a big lover of that same pasta dish too, and he mentioned the other day how he missed having it. Being the super awesome wife that I am.. I decided to surprise him with dinner the other night, and have it be my own version of that beloved pasta dish!
Because I too wanted to experience the flavors and deliciousness of this dish, I decided to sub in my new favorite ’pasta’ … Zucchini pasta!
You may remember a few months back when I did a zucchini pasta post … it was a big hit!
Also, my lovely blogger pal Sonia, from The Healthy Foodie , just recently did a fantastic looking zucchini pasta post on her blog that reminded me it had been too long since I’d had my last zucchini pasta meal! Thanks for the nudge Sonia!
The components to this dish are actually incredibly simple, but each ingredient is bold and holds it’s own, making the whole meal a carnival of deliciousness! (sometimes I run out of ways to describe how delicious meals are.. so words like carnival come out of nowhere… )
Each ingredient is also wholesome, clean, and healthy… just my style!
The hubby can tolerate pasta no problem (lucky schmuck!) so I used some of the pasta we brought home from Italy last September for his version of the dish.
For mine, I pulled out my precious mandolin and made ‘zucchini linguine’ !
Trust me on this one too… this dish is EASY!
I just used a large saucepan to mix up all the ingredients, starting with the garlic and shallots… then added in the jarred sun-dried tomatoes, then the salmon to cook and absorb all those flavors. As the salmon cooked I squeezed fresh lemon over everything, then flipped the salmon to cook on the opposite side. In went the peas, then as the salmon just started to flake, I broke it into large chunks.
I used pre-cooked frozen prawns which I thawed under cold running water (big time saver!), and tossed them in the pan just to heat.
A big sprinkling of dill..my fave!… and a little more fresh lemon and the dish was done!
I topped both ‘pastas’ with the delicious lemony seafood sun-dried tomato mixture and gave both a dash of salt and peppa’!
I love how the zucchini linguine just twirled in my fork like the real thing, and it had a subtle taste that worked so well with the Pacifico ingredients!
As I watched the hubby munch away at his Italian penne pasta, I did miss it a little, but with each bite of my zucchini substitute I was pleased I chose the latter and a couple hours later my stomach wasn’t wailing in bloated pain!
It was a win, win…win!Happy Hubby, happy Me, and healthy dinner!
5.0 from 1 reviews
‘Pasta’ Al Pacifico : 2 Ways! (Gluten Free/Low Carb option)
1 cup dry whole grain short pasta (whole wheat, brown rice, quinoa, etc. ) OR 2 medium zucchini (for gluten/grain free/low carb option)
6oz salmon filet
200g fresh or frozen (thawed) pre-cooked prawns
1 shallot, diced finely
1 clove garlic, minced
½ cup frozen peas
1 small lemon, cut in half
2 tablespoons jarred sun-dried tomatoes
1 tablespoon fresh dill or 1 teaspoon dried dill
salt and pepper, to taste
Start by preparing your ‘pasta’ – if you choose the grain option, cook according to package instructions. If you choose the zucchini option, using a mandoline slicer, cut the zucchini into small strips. Heat water to boiling and blanch zucchini for 1 minute to soften, then drain and run under cold water. Set aside.
Heat a saucepan to medium high heat and spray with olive oil spray or add 1 teaspoon olive oil.
Add in shallot and garlic and cook until translucent.
Add in chopped sun-dried tomatoes and cook, stirring for one minute.
Add in salmon filet and squeeze over juice of ½ lemon. Reduce heat to medium and cook for 3-4 minutes.
Flip salmon and add in frozen peas, cover and cook for 2-3 more minutes until salmon begins to flake.
Break salmon into large chunks and add in thawed prawns. Stir ingredients to heat prawns for 2 more minutes.
Spinkle with dill and juice from remaining lemon half.
Season with salt and pepper.
Serve mixture hot over ‘pasta’ of choice.
(If you find the pasta is a little dry, drizzle some of the oil from the jarred sun-dried tomatoes over the pasta and toss to coat with the Pacifico mixture.)