Fresh salmon is something that played a big part in my childhood in Oregon. Every September, my father took the whole family to Nehalem Bay to camp for a week while he and his buddies fished over the Nehalem bar for salmon. We feasted nightly on salmon and freshly caught crab for the entire week, and if they caught more than their limit and we couldn’t eat it all, my father would take the surplus to the local cannery to be canned and eaten in the winter. My mom made salmon cakes, salmon loaf and giant nut-coated balls of salmon and cream cheese to spread on crackers. Not exactly haute cuisine, but great for kids. This recipe takes the combination of canned salmon and hazelnuts to a sublime level.
½ pound fresh pasta sheets (homemade or store bought)
1 beaten egg to seal edges
2 teaspoons butter
2 leeks, well rinsed and coarsely chopped (white and light green parts only)
17 ounce can Oregon’s Choice Gourmet
½ cup mascarpone cheese
¼ cup Oregon hazelnuts finely chopped
2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 beaten egg
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 medium shallot finely chopped
2 cloves garlic finely chopped
1/3 cup chopped hazelnuts
2 tablespoons Marsala wine
1 cup seafood stock
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
¼ cup heavy cream
Fresh tarragon for garnish (optional)
If you can’t make your own pasta sheets, look for the best quality fresh pasta sheets you can find. And, of course, use only the best quality canned Oregon salmon. Melt butter in large non-stick pan. Add leeks. Cover and sauté on medium heat stirring occasionally and trying not to brown until very soft; 8-10 minutes. Remove leeks to medium bowl and allow to cool. Blend in mascarpone cheese, flaked salmon, lemon juice, egg and hazelnuts. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Using a 4-inch circular cutter, cut circles from the pasta to make 20 circles. Drop filling by teaspoons into center of pasta circles and brush edges with egg. Gently fold in half to make agnolotti. Pinch edges to make sure agnolotti are sealed. Lay on floured tray.
Fill 8-quart pot with water and turn to high heat. Add plenty of kosher salt to the water; 2-3 tablespoons. Meanwhile, start the sauce.
Heat 3 tablespoons butter in large sauté pan until melted and beginning to brown. Add shallots and garlic and sauté until tender; 1-2 minutes. Add hazelnuts and marsala and cook 1 minute more. Add Dijon mustard, stock and cream and reduce by half. Reduce heat and add liquor. Taste sauce and adjust seasonings.
While sauce reduces, add agnolotti to boiling salted water. Cook 5-7 minutes until agnolotti float to the top and pasta is al dente.
Remove agnolotti with strainer and add to sauce. Gently toss pasta to coat with sauce. Cook 1-2 minutes more in sauce. Serve in heated pasta bowls. Garnish with extra virgin olive oil and fresh tarragon.