I MISS BLOGGING! And I am not even saying it for the sake of saying it, or lying about it or being paid to say it or….
Okay, I know I’m annoying. I’ll stop.
Seriously now, I really have missed you guys. If you are wondering what I have been up to, well it began with three weeks of a whole lot of baking during the fasting period (Read: Ramadan).
No, I did not bake for the whole of Singapore. I mostly baked for family and relatives. Yes, my family is huge. We give the little hamsters tough competition! I have been so busy that there was no time to buffer in real life. Quite a number of people have been asking me as to how do I restrain myself from all these cookies during fasting. Well, let’s just say..I am not a cookie monster. I can easily say a no to a chocolate chip cookie but don’t try to tempt me with a plate of this Delicious Pesto Spaghetti with Seared Salmon. It is hard to say no to this pile of delightfulness.????????
For those of you who are not aware, over the past two weeks Muslims all over the world celebrated Eid which is a festival that marks the end of Ramadan and is traditionally celebrated for one month.
Although Eid is celebrated differently throughout the world, this is a time where family and friends come together to celebrate and feast together.
In many parts of Asia, including Singapore, Eid is celebrated in a wide scale. Spring cleaning, new clothes, new curtains and delicious goodies are often prepared for visiting guests. We ladies are usually the busiest ones during this period! Despite the crazy amount of work that goes into Eid, most of us do enjoy Eid and look forward to meet and spend the joyous occasion with our loved ones.
Despite being really tired after baking for three weeks, I somehow managed to put a smile and tried my best to serve the guests and look generally alive for them. Obviously, I have also been eating a whole of delicacies and drinking at least 10litres of fizzy drinks.
Festive food is definitely tempting and truly divine, but at the same time most easily add up the kilos on the weighing scale when consumed in excess. It is ironic how you fast for the whole month of Ramadan, lose 3 kgs and regain 5 kgs during Eid. It’s a general comment, I am not speaking from experience. (Yeah, right)
After consuming all the festive goodies, I was craving for some good old pasta and salmon. Basically my kinda comfort food and maybe Nigella’s too. You can opt to use spaghetti or if you want a gluten-free dish, you can use zoodles instead. I used a mixed of spaghetti and zoodles which was amazing!! Spaghetti gave me the carbs that I was craving for and the zoodles added bulk to the meal, so that I can eat an enormous bowl without feeling guilty! Strategy my friend, strategy.
Basically, the pasta is sautéed with a delicious pesto, made from basil, pine nuts, garlic, lemon and Parmesan. The salmon is pan fried before getting a coat of the refreshing pesto. TOO delicious! If you prefer to bake your salmon, you can just coat it with the pesto and let it bake away. I have always preferred pan fried salmon as I really love the slight caramelization on it.
This dish was totally up my alley. Delish, healthy, really fresh and clean flavors. I would definitely be revisiting this dish again and again especially since I have basil in my mini herb garden now. Yes, I can finally be just like Jamie Oliver. I love how he keeps plucking herbs from his garden while cooking. Ah…how dainty!
For those of you who needs a change from the rendang, lodeh and lemang (Read: Eid food), give this Delicious Pesto Spaghetti with Seared Salmon a try! The freshness of the of basil pesto is a nice match for the buttery salmon. Feel free to switch the salmon with any other protein of your choice if you prefer. Shrimps would be awesome!!
On another note, every Eid, there would always be that one favorite picture of mine and this year, this has to be the one!! You might think these two brothers were watching something serious on TV, but no…they were just watching Mr Bean, animated series. Such focus and interest! Too cute!! ????
- 400g Spaghetti or 4 small zucchini to make zoodles (You can use a mix of both too)
- 1 cup fresh basil leaves
- ½ avocado
- 4 tbsp parmesan cheese
- ¼ cup toasted pine nuts
- 3-4 tbsp olive oil
- 2-3 tbsp lemon juice (Depending how sour you like your pesto to be)
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 16 ounces salmon fillets (4, 6-oz each)
- ½ tsp paprika/chili flakes
- Salt and black pepper to season.
- Basil and toasted pine nuts (optional)
- In a food process, mix all the ingredients for the pesto and process till fine.
- Cook spaghetti in a saucepan of boiling salted water, following packet directions until tender. Drain and return to pan
- Add pesto to pasta and cook this for about 60 seconds till it's warm throughout. Toss well to combine.
- If using zoodles, you can just stir fry the zucchini noodles with the pesto for about 1-2 minutes.
- Wipe the salmon dry with paper towels and season lightly with paprika, salt and pepper.
- Heat the skillet, over medium-high heat, then spray with cooking spray or add a tablespoon of oil.
- Cook salmon about 4 minutes per side or desired doneness.
- Once cooked, give it a good coating with the pesto.
- Top on a bed of spaghetti and scattered some basil and pine nuts, if desired.