Monday, March 7, 2016

Salmon Penne in Vodka Sauce

Dinner doesn't have to be hard. There are days when I like to go all out and whip up a new dish or two and then there are days when I want to have wine for dinner, but to quote my 9- and 7-year-old daughters, "that's not appropriate." What I am saying is that sometimes I just want to get dinner on the table fast. In the end, it really is about eating together as a family.

God bless short cuts and leftovers. Several of my favorite short cuts -- or cheats, as I call them -- come from Trader Joe's. You already know some of my TJ's creations -- from my posts about Cheater Crockpot Chicken Curry and Easy Yellow Curry Shrimp Pasta. I serve those dishes over another TJ's cheat -- the microwaveable organic jasmine rice.

Salmon Penne in Vodka Sauce is another Trader Joe's dish of mine. I often make this dish for meatless Lenten Fridays, as I did last week.

I use the Trader Giotto's Organic Vodka Sauce. I've tried other brands, but this is my favorite, because it has chunks of tomatoes in it and it's not as fatty as its peers. I also get the salmon for this dish from TJ's -- the silver brite salmon found in  the freezer case.

You know what's funny? Whenever I make my Trader Joe's short-cut meals, I always envision myself scooping little tastes into white paper cups and handing them out at the sample counter.


Salmon Penne in Vodka Sauce

1 1/2 pounds salmon, cooked and then chipped away from skin in medium-sized hunks
2 jars (25 ounces each) of vodka sauce
1/2 to 2 pounds penne, cooked just slightly al dente and drained
Sea salt

Put salmon flesh side down in a glass dish sprayed with Pam. Cook salmon in 350 degree oven for about 25 minutes. It will look opaque and there will be liquid at the bottom of the pan. Cook for too long and the fish will look dried out and there will be no juice in the pan.

Meanwhile, cook pasta according to package directions.

When the salmon is done, use two forks to chip it away from the skin. Don't shred it. You want some nice-sized hunks of fish.

Mix together the salmon and sauce and allow to warm through for several minutes. Add penne pasta to the sauce and stir all together.

Serve salmon penne in vodka sauce, topped with sea salt to taste, alongside a green vegetable or salad.

This recipe yields a lot of salmon penne. I'm talking two dinners and several lunches for four. I like leftovers, which can be kept in the fridge for a week or frozen. My kids like to eat these leftovers in their school lunch.

If you are not into leftovers, what's wrong with you? Kidding. If you are not into leftovers, simply cut the above recipe in half.

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