10 December 2015

Linguine with smoked trout and watercress

A few weeks ago, we dropped in to see some friends who own a trout fishery at Avington in Hampshire. It's a lovely place, and while I'm not a game fisherman myself, I can see the attraction of wiling away a few hours stalking trout. One of the things about the place that excites me the most is that they have their own smoker, and cold smoke trout from the lakes. The smoked trout and salmon that you buy in the supermarkets is often a bit dull and flabby, but this stuff is the real thing: produced in small batches, with a firm texture and a full smoky flavour. We came away with a side of smoked fish. I used some in a pasta dish - linguine with smoked trout and watercress.

Linguine with smoked trout and watercress

I cook lots of pasta, particularly on weekday evenings when cooking time is short and bellies empty, but this is the only one that I can vaguely claim to have invented myself. It has its origins in shopping for dinner ingredients on a Sunday afternoon at the M&S at King's Cross station. It's a very quick dish - making it ideal for a week-night dinner - and most of the prep can be done while the linguine cooks. I find watercress works best, but you can swap it for spinach, rocket or leek (which will of course require sweating down). The recipe serves four.


400g linguine 
1 pack smoked trout
1 bunch watercress
juice of one lemon
a big dollop of creme fraiche
2 tsp pickled capers

Bring a big pan of water to the boil, then add salt generously. Cook the linguine until very al dente (about 2 minutes less than the packet says).

Meanwhile, slice the smoked trout into thick strips.

Wash the watercress, and chop roughly. Both the leaves and stalks can be used, provided the stalks aren't woody.

When the linguine is cooked, drain, reserving a small amount of the cooking water. The pasta will continue to cook in the sauce, hence the instruction to cook until very al dente.

Return the linguine to the pan along with the smoked trout, watercress, lemon juice, capers and creme fraiche, grind in plenty of black pepper, and stir over a low heat until the watercress wilts slightly and the pasta is well coated with the sauce. If the sauce is a little dry, add some of the cooking water to lubricate.

Serve. Contrary to my general feeling about parmesan cheese and fish-based sauces, I find a small amount or grated parmesan enhances things.

No comments:

Post a Comment