Orecchiette with Spinach and Salmon

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Appears in

A World in My Kitchen

A World in My Kitchen

By Peter Gordon

Published 2003

  • About

I love orecchiette (which supposedly resemble little ears — but I’ve never seen anyone’s ears like them!) served in a broth, tossed with wok-fried crispy duck and enoki mushrooms, or cold in a chicken and broad bean salad. However, this dish is great for a spring or summer brunch. Large shell pasta (conchiglie) also works well.


  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 500 g(1 lb) salmon fillet, skin and bones removed
  • 250 g(8 oz) orecchiette
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 2 red onions, peeled and finely sliced
  • 1–2 red chillies, finely chopped
  • 200 g(6 ½ oz) baby spinach, washed
  • 1 lemon, juice and finely grated zest
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 spring onions, finely sliced and washed


Bring a large saucepan (4 litres/8 pints) of water to the boil, add 2 teaspoons salt and turn to a simmer. Add salmon and poach 4–5 minutes until just cooked — it may be easier to cut the fillet into three pieces for this. Remove with a slotted spoon and sit aside on a warm plate. Bring water back to the boil, add pasta and cook until al dente.

Meanwhile, heat a large wok or frying pan and add oils, red onions and chilli. Cook over a moderate heat until onion begins to caramelise. Add spinach, lemon zest and pepper and cook until spinach wilts, then remove from heat.

Once pasta is ready, drain and add to wok with lemon juice; toss well. Check seasoning then divide between four bowls. Break salmon into chunks, scatter over pasta and sprinkle with spring onions.