Pan fried salmon with pea pesto pasta

Pasta is always a winner dinner in my house but sometimes it’s nice to shake it up from it’s usual tomato sauce partner. This is my simple pea pesto pasta which I like to top with pan fried salmon. People are often a little nervous about cooking fish but this is my fool proof way. If preferred, bake the salmon in the oven (seasoned and drizzled with a little oil) at 200C (180C fan) for 12-15 minutes or until cooked through.

1 tbsp sunflower oil

4 x 150-175g salmon fillets, skin on

400g fresh or frozen peas

350g dried pasta shapes (I like to use wholemeal)

150g mascarpone

25g finely grated parmesan

Juice ½ lemon (remaining lemon half cut into 4 pieces)

Small handful fresh mint leaves, optional

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Put a large pan and a small pan of salted water to the boil.
Heat the oil in a large frying pan over a medium to high heat. Dab the salmon fillets dry and season with salt and pepper. Cook skin side down for about 6 minutes without moving them, until crisp and golden. Then carefully flip them over and cook them for 3 or so minutes or until they are just cooked in the middle but still nice and moist and tender.
Once the water is boiling, put the peas on to cook in the small pan for 3-4 minutes until tender. Cook the pasta in the large pan for as long as directed on the pack.
Once cooked, drain the peas well and tip into a food processor, or back into the pan if using a stick blender. Add the mascarpone, parmesan, lemon juice, almost all of the mint (if using) and salt and pepper and blitz to a rough puree.
Once tender, drain the pasta and return to the pan. Stir in the pea pesto to evenly coat and divide between serving plates. Sit a piece of salmon on top of each (or children may prefer the skin removed and flesh flaked over) and serve at once with a scattering of the remaining mint (if using) and a piece of lemon for squeezing. 

Sharon Hearne-Smith videos

Heinz videos

Hotpoint videos