This is my kind of fast food, as it’s super quick but still quite healthy. As you will see from previous posts, I’m rather a fiend for broccoli as it’s my favourite vegetable – it’s a real super food if you steam it, and it teams well with most dishes. I’ve given it to my children so often that it’s the one vegetable they will eat without question. I always have at least a few broccoli florets in the fridge and frozen salmon fillets in the freezer for emergencies, as they cook so quickly. However, if you don’t have fresh broccoli then frozen peas will work just as well.
Penne pasta – 1-2 handfuls per child, 3 handfuls per adult
Broccoli – 3 large florets per person, 2 per child
Mascarpone cream cheese or fresh cream – 1 dessert spoon per adult
Parmesan cheese – 1 dessert spoon of either freshly grated or dried parmesan per adult
Salmon – Half a fillet per person
Pine Nuts – Toasted in a frying pan until lightly brown using a drizzle of rapeseed oil
The amounts are a rough guide as you can add more or less according to appetites, or what is left in your fridge!
Put the frozen salmon fillet straight into the oven with a little butter and pepper, and cook for about 20 minutes at 180 degrees. Then cook the pasta and steam the broccoli. If you don’t have a steamer then the broccoli can be cooked over the pasta pan using a stainless steel steaming basket (£4.99 from Amazon UK) or microwave in a covered pyrex bowl with added water. Steam the broccoli until it is soft but still has a bit of a bite to it; if it’s overcooked until mushy then it will have lost some of the nutrients.
Drain the pasta and mix with the broccoli or peas, then stir through the mascarpone cream cheese while the pasta is still hot, along with two dessert spoons of Parmesan cheese (I keep a tub of dried parmesan in the cupboard as a substitute for fresh if I haven’t had time to plan ahead, but it’s also cheaper). Finally, flake the cooked salmon on top. I season with lots of pepper for myself, but leave it without for the children, as the cheese seems to do the trick.
If you are feeling indulgent then the salmon fillet can be substituted for a few slices of smoked salmon, which is delicious pan-fried and broken up into tiny flakes. You can get away with much less as it is quite salty. I also add toasted pine nuts for myself if I have some in the cupboard, but the children tend to pick them out!