Smoked Salmon Pasta with Basil Pesto and Grilled Corn

I just celebrated my 38th birthday last weekend in a manner that is totally appropriate for my mood these days. On Sunday, Sebastian woke me at 5:30 am, crying hysterically. I spent the next few hours trying to calm him, completely exhausted from a previous night of binge-watching Penny Dreadful. Once I finally got him down for his nap, I napped myself.

I then woke at 10:30 am, showered, got in the car and left Sebastian and Brent to fend for themselves. I drove 40 minutes, blaring cheesy 80's rock, into the mountains, to the spa, all by myself. I felt like such a grown-up. I ate roasted tomato soup, a grilled cheese sandwich, homemade potato chips, mint tea, and a mimosa for lunch. I was so full I could barely walk, but that didn't matter because I was going to spend the rest of the afternoon with my feet up. After I leisurely finished up my meal, I went to the spa, where I spent the next two hours soaking in a hot tub made of stone with a flowing waterfall that made me feel like a was going to melt into a puddle. After the hot tub, I spent the next 90 minutes getting a deep therapeutic massage and it was probably the most amazing massage of my life. I think I even drooled all over the pillow and at some point, fell asleep. I finished off the day with a manicure and pedicure and then drove home feeling the most relaxed I'd ever felt while driving.

The next morning, (which was my actual birthday), I woke at 5:30 am to Sebastian screaming, and any ounce of relaxation that I still felt was now down the drain. Nobody ever warns you about a teething baby. Or maybe they did and I just wasn't listening. To make matters worse, Sebastian is cutting three canines and three molars at the same time. It is hard for me to relate to him, because who can remember what it was like to get new teeth, but I do remember what it was like to get my wisdom teeth pulled, and if it's anything like, I can completely understand. On top of that, he also has a cold and diaper rash and yesterday he fell and cut his chin and tongue, and today he also fell and cut his lip, and just talking about this out loud makes me want to pour myself a drink, but it's 12:30 pm, and I have a rule - no alcoholic drinks before 4pm. So, my actual birthday was a little poopy, to say the least, but Brent got home from work at 5:30 pm (not early enough) with a bottle of champagne, chocolate, ice cream, and pizza, and it's times like this where I think - this man really gets me. We sat on the couch and ate so much junk food while watching the last two episodes of Downton Abbey and I felt like crying because I was so full of junk food and so happy for Mary and Edith.

The next day I decided that I could no longer live off of junk food and pizza like I had been doing for the previous two weeks because dealing with a teething baby is sort of similar to cramming for exams. You're super stressed, irritable, and have no time to make meals, so you order a different take-out menu each night of the week.

So, I made Brent's favorite smoked salmon pasta because I love him and because he made me feel so special on my birthday. I put caramelized onions, and mushrooms, and grilled corn in the pasta, because those are his favorite things. I cut back most of my basil plant to make the pesto, which is ok because most of it had started growing baby flowers and it's almost the end of the summer - cue tears. This used to be Brent's dish, but I have now adopted it as my own. When he first made this dish I was totally grossed out at the thought of smoked salmon and pasta, but then I stopped being a baby and gave it a try, and guess what?, I loved it!!!!!

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serves 4

prep time: 25 minutes

cooking time: 40 minutes


3 cups fresh basil leaves

1/4 cup almonds, chopped

1/2 cup olive oil

1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1 lemon

1 tsp salt

2 cobs corn, soaked for 30 minutes in their husks

1 tbsp butter

1/2 small onion, diced

2 cups mushrooms, sliced

6 oz smoked salmon, chopped

4 servings fettuccine

salt and pepper to taste

Parmesan cheese, grated

To make the pesto, place the basil and almonds in a food processor and pulse until they've become a paste. Drizzle in the olive oil and pulse for a minute or so until the mixture becomes cohesive. Add the Parmesan cheese, juice from half a lemon (save the other half for the pasta) and salt, and pulse until combined. Set to the side.

Preheat the grill to 450ºF. Place the corn in their husks on the grill and cook for 20 - 25 minutes, rotating half way. To check for doneness, pierce the corn with a fork. If the corn is tender and the kernels are nice and juicy, they are done. Remove from the grill and let cool. Once cool, remove the husks, and then remove the kernels from the cob with a sharp knife.

Bring a large pot of water to boil. Once boiling, add the pasta and cook until al dente.

While the water is boiling, heat 1 tbsp butter in a large frying pan on medium heat. Fry the onions and mushrooms until caramelized. Add the smoked salmon and corn, and cook until just warm.

Drain the pasta and toss in a large bowl with the pesto. Add the salmon mixture and toss. Drizzle with the juice from half a lemon. Season with salt and pepper and a generous serving of Parmesan cheese. Serve warm.

Can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for a few days.