When asparagus is in season it is affordable and delicious. When paired with salmon it has a fresh feeling while the cheesy pasta element gives the ingredients a comforting family feel. You will get two bakes for a family of four from this quantity, and you can increase it easily by using the ‘Scale’ button at the top of the recipe.

Kids in the kitchen tips:

  • There are some easy measuring tasks in this recipe, and it’s always fun to do the cheese sprinkle on top of the baking dish.
  • A is for Asparagus. Let kids explore what asparagus is and how it is grown. It can be an unusual looking vegetable to kids but often the flavour really appeals!
  • Often asparagus is sold with two reusable rubber bands on each bundle. Talk about ways your family can make use of them (like binding a cut apple together in a lunchbox).

Asparagus and salmon pasta bake

Bec Lloyd
When asparagus is in season it is affordable and delicious. When paired with salmon it has a fresh feeling while the cheesy pasta element gives the ingredients a comforting family feel. 
Course Main Course
Cuisine Modern Australian
Servings 2 family size bakes

Ingredients
  

  • 2 bunches fresh asparagus
  • 2 500g short pasta noodles like penne
  • 4 125g salmon fillets, boned, skinless see Notes
  • 2 stalks spring onions finely chopped
  • 4 stalks celery finely chopped
  • 1 cup corn kernels
  • 2 medium lemons juice and zest
  • ½ cup parmesan cheese grated
  • 400 ml sour cream or ricotta cheese for lighter flavour

Optional

  • ½ cup fresh parsley finely chopped
  • 1/3 bunch fresh chives finely chopped

Instructions
 

Stove top

  • Cook all the pasta according to packet directions, drain. If you have room on your stovetop while pasta is cooking, get started on the salmon and vegetables. 
  • In a frying pan heat a little olive oil and add the salmon fillets. Sear on each side for a total of around 4-5 minutes and then break into pieces, checking for bones. If bought with skin on, it will peel off easily once cooked. Place on a paper towel.
  • In the same frying pan add the spring onion and garlic, sauté for 1-2 minutes
  • Add in celery, corn, sour cream, cheese parsley, lemon juice and zest, half the chives and remove from heat, stirring

Oven

  • Combine all the ingredients across two medium baking dishes.
  • Sprinkle the top of each one with parmesan cheese and some chives
  • Bake in the oven for approx. 30 minutes or until golden on top

To serve

  • Serve sprinkled with extra chopped chives or parsley. Add some lemon wedges and a simple green salad if you wish.

Notes

  • Make one for dinner and one to freeze for another night or to gift a mum who's sick or has a new baby.
  • Since looks don't matter here, just buy whichever cut of salmon is cheapest - they don't have to be individual fillets. If it has skin on, this will peel off easily after the initial cook. 
  • You can get good quality salmon in frozen fillets too. Defrost overnight in refrigerator.
  • A large stockpot is a good investment for big batch cooking! Whatever pot or pots you use for the double batch of pasta, make sure there's enough water for the pasta to move around a little during cooking
  • Check the Spring 2020 Big Batch cooking for all four big batch recipes in this bonus and complete shopping and prep ahead instructions, or just make this by itself. 
  • Make into individual single-serve pasta bakes using ramekins or deep muffin pans. Chill until firm then wrap for freezing - great for weekend lunches
  • Or just chill the full baking dish overnight and it will cut easily into squares for packaging and freezing.
  • You can add other cheeses like cheddar, 
  • Short on time? Swap the salmon fillets for smoked salmon slices or even a family size tin of salmon per bake
  • Leave out the corn and replace it with a cup of peas or another veg you enjoy.
Keyword asparagus, cheese, pasta, salmon, tray bake
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