I had lunch with a group of friends lately and everyone was talking about how busy they were and how they rarely felt like cooking after work.
I understand all about the lethargy that can creep up on you around 6pm and how the thought of cooking a meal can feel like a chore. But a home cooked meal is so much better for you than a takeaway or something out of a packet. So it’s worth making the effort if you can manage it.
I find that keeping a well stocked fridge and larder is essential for these moments. Having the ingredients at hand to quickly make a healthy meal means there’s less chance that I’ll end up eating Vegemite on toast for dinner.
This meal — Smoked Trout, Asparagus & Almond Pasta Salad — was made on the fly with what I had in the larder and refrigerator. And it took all of 10 minutes to prepare, with cooking the pasta taking up the lion’s share of that time. It’s an easy, one-pot meal that you can make in a hurry after work, or when friends drop unexpectedly around. Enjoy!
- 1 packet penne
- 1 large pinch salt
- 3 bunches asparagus, trimmed and cut into small pieces
- 1 large smoked trout
- Juice from a lemon
- 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
- 1.5 tablespoons olive oil (garlic flavoured if desired)
- Salt & pepper
- 4 spring onions, sliced
- 100 grams raw almonds, smashed in a mortar and pestle
- Fresh parsley
- 2 tablespoons baby capers (optional)
- Cook the penne in boiling water with the pinch of salt according to directions. Four minutes before the penne is done, drop the asparagus in and cook with the pasta.
- Drain pasta and asparagus, rinse with cold water and drain again.
- Meanwhile, remove the skin and bones from the trout and separate the fish carefully into small pieces.
- Place the pasta, asparagus and fish into a large bowl.
- Make a dressing by whisking together the lemon juice, red wine vinegar and olive oil.
- Pour dressing over warm pasta and fish (rinse pasta with hot water if necessary) and mix thoroughly to combine.
- Season with salt and pepper and then garnish with spring onions, almonds, parsley and capers (optional).