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
- 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
- ½ cup fresh parsley finely chopped
- 1/3 bunch fresh chives finely chopped
- 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
- 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
- Serve sprinkled with extra chopped chives or parsley. Add some lemon wedges and a simple green salad if you wish.
- 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.