salmon and leek spaghetti with spicy panko

Salmon is one of my favorite foods. Raw, cooked – it doesn’t matter, I love it all. When I cook it, I usually leave it filet form, but this time I was in the mood for pasta too, so I thought, why not combine the two? I decided to cook the salmon, flake it, and then toss it with leeks and buttered spaghetti. I decided that it needed a little something extra, so I added toasted panko that I had mixed with some seasoning. The result is a wonderful buttery, comfort food. It is another example of simple ingredients coming together to make something amazing.

Salmon & Leek Spaghetti with Spicy Panko

serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 6 tbsp butter
  • 1/2 c panko
  • 1/2 tsp old bay seasoning
  • 1/8 tsp ground red pepper
  • 12 oz skinless salmon filet // It doesn’t matter if it is in 1 large piece, or multiple small pieces. 
  • 2 leeks, white and light green parts only, cleaned and sliced into half moons
  • salt & pepper
  • 3/4 lb spaghetti

Directions:

  1. Set a large pot of salted water over medium-high heat to boil.
  2. In a large sauté pan, melt 1 tbsp of butter over medium heat. Add panko and the old bay and ground red pepper. Stir until browned, but not burnt. Transfer to a small bowl. Wipe out pan.
  3. Return pan to stove, and turn heat to medium-high heat. Add 2 tbsp of butter. Once the butter melts, add salmon to the pan. Cook on one side until it starts to brown. Flip over salmon and cook until other side starts to brown.
  4. Using your spatula, start flaking the salmon in the pan, and continue to move it around. This will allow any uncooked middle sections to cook without making the outsides too cooked. Once the salmon no longer looks raw, remove it from the pan and set it aside. Again wipe out the pan.
  5. At this point you water should be boiling. Add in the spaghetti, and cook until it is al dente. Drain the water, reserving 1/2 cup of cooking water. Return the pasta to the pot.
  6. Meanwhile, return the pan that you cooked the salmon/panko in to stove, and turn the heat down to medium heat. Add 1 tbsp of butter, and add the leeks. Season lightly with black pepper. Stir the leeks occasionally, until they start to become translucent, but not browned.
  7. Combine the spaghetti, leeks, salmon, and last 2 tbsp of butter in the spaghetti pot. Stir gently until the butter melts. If you find that the spaghetti seems a little dry, add in a bit of the reserved cooking water.
  8. Once you plate the dish, sprinkle the toasted panko over the dish.

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