The Best Salmon You Will Ever Have with Lemon Ricotta Pasta

The biggest critic of my meals is usually me. I’m also one to admit when something is really god-damned delicious. This recipe developed out of sheer laziness…no more, no less. As someone who spends all day at work thinking about dinner (either scrutinizing the restaurant menu or putting together recipes and shopping list) sometimes I just need a break from all that prepping and planning. I needed something simple and quick, but also incredibly delicious. After a night of cocktails at the newly opened Gallow Green (the bar on top of Sleep No More), I knew I would be slightly tipsy and entirely starving.  Salmon is something that’s pretty easy to do well. It can be poached, pan-fried, broiled, grilled…really I could go on.

Also, on a recent trip to Los Angeles I ate at the infamous Inn of the Seven Ray (see Eleanor Friedberger song below).

Formerly a temple of tofu and mung beans, it’s now got a new chef who’s spruced things up a bit. I had an incredible lemon ricotta pasta, which I knew could be imitated easily. But that was just the side show, the star of this dish is the salmon. Mostly because it’s so juicy and salty and really one of the best things I’ve ever made and sure to be repeated frequently. I also made this meal in less than 30 minutes, it’s fun to do and requires little effort and shopping. I listed a bunch of spices which might seem like a lot, but these are things you SHOULD have in your panty. The rock salt is key for the crust and you’ll need a really good broiler.

The Best Salmon You Will Ever Have

(serves 2 large portions)

You will need:

1 thick filet salmon (about 1 lb)

1 pinch of each of the following:

celery  salt

rock salt

italian seasoning or dried oregano

freshly ground black pepper

japanese red pepper (togarishi ichimi)

1 tsp olive oil

Method: 1. Take the fish out of fridge and bring to room temperature and turn on the broiler.

2. Cover a large baking sheet with tin foil and drizzle olive oil on the pan so the fish doesn’t stick. Put the fish on the oiled pan.

3. Sprinkle a tiny pinch of each of the seasonings listed. There should be a nice crust of herbs and salt and pepper. You can’t really over salt this. Then every so sparsely drizzle with olive oil.

4. Broil for 7 minutes or until you can see a charred crust forming. Turn off the broiler and let the fish rest in the oven. Enjoy this masterful, juicy, omega-3 rich treat.

Lemon Ricotta Pasta

(serves 2)

You will need:

1/4 package of spaghettini

fresh ricotta cheese (about 1 cup)

1 lemon: you’ll need both the zest and the juice, so have your microplane grater on hand

1/2 cup arugula

2 tbs olive oil

salt and pepper


1. Boil water for pasta and cook according to package directions. Make sure to reserve 1/2 cup of the cooking water after you strain out the pasta.

2.  In a non-stick pan over medium heat, heat the olive oil, ricotta, lemon juice and lemon zest (reserve a pinch for sprinkling on top). Cook for no more than 3 minutes until combined and then add the pasta and arugula. Add the reserved cooking water one pinch at a time to add volume to the sauce. Serve immediately.

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