There's no cream in this rich, luscious dish (unlike similar pasta dishes with smoked salmon and vodka), it's the melted onions, garlic and anchovies which give it a buttery texture and depth of flavour. And whilst you can't taste the vodka, it adds depth both by pulling out flavours and concentrating others without adding a flavour of its own.
- Prep Time : 25 minutes
- Cook Time : 30-35 minutes
- Yield : 4 - 6
- orecchiette - 500g
- olive oil - 3 -4 tablespoons
- unsalted butter - 150g
- anchovies - 6-8, finely chopped
- onions - 4 medium, finely sliced
- garlic - 6 cloves, minced
- fresh medium red chillies - 1 -2, finely chopped (seeds removed if you can't stand the heat)
- dried thyme - 2 teaspoons
- vodka - 250ml (1 cup)
- smoked salmon (or smoked ocean trout or gravlax) - 400g, thinly sliced, and cut into bite-size pieces
- Italian parsley or celery leaves - to garnish
Put the olive oil, butter and anchovies into a medium-large frying pan over medium heat and stir until anchovies have melted.
Add the onions, garlic, chilli and thyme and fry until onions are soft and collapsing, about 15 - 20 minutes.
Bring a large pan of water to the boil, add 2-3 teaspoons salt and the orecchiette. Boil until pasta is cooked - check manufacturers instructions for cooking time. Drain, reserving some of the pasta water.
Turn up heat on onions and add the vodka. Simmer for 1-2 minutes until it has evaporated.
Add the drained pasta and about 1/3 cup pasta cooking water to the onions. Stir through the smoked salmon (or smoked trout) pieces. Stir well to coat and serve immediately, garnished with freshly chopped Italian parsley or celery leaves.