Productivity Pact | Day 39 | Salmon Pasta Bake

This evening I was left in charge of making dinner. ‘Okay’, I thought. ‘I can totally do this.’ All the ingredients for a salmon pasta bake were on the side and there was only me in the house so whether I thought I could do it or not – I didn’t really have a choice. Don’t get me wrong I love cooking, it’s just the only thing I actually know how to cook from scratch is macaroni cheese, my favorite dish. But, after this evening I think I can add salmon pasta bake to that short list.

You will need:

  • Boneless salmon fillets
  • Pasta
  • Mushrooms
  • Onions
  • Cheese
  • Packet sauce (for those of us with a busy life and a budget)
  • Sweetcorn
  • Breadcrumbs
  • Oil
  • Milk

The first thing I did was get out my boneless salmon fillets and lay them on a large piece of foil, I then drizzled some oil over them and seasoned them with salt and pepper, before wrapping them in a parcel using the foil and placing them in the oven at 200°C/392°for 20 minutes.

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Whilst the salmon fillets were cooking I boiled the kettle ready to cook the pasta and once I had the pasta simmering I started peeling and chopping the onions and mushrooms.

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Soon the pasta was done so I turned it off and poured it into a large dish, which later all the ingredients would be added to. I went back to the onions and mushrooms, which needed frying. In order to do this I took out a medium sized frying pan and poured a small amount of oil into the middle of it, then I swirled it around to make sure the entire pan was coated before adding the onions and mushrooms and turning the heat on.

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The next step was to make the sauce so whilst keeping an eye on the frying pan I read the instructions on the back of the sauce packet, which said to add 425ml of semi-skimmed milk to it in a saucepan and bring to the boil. I followed these instructions until the sauce thickened – obviously instructions will vary depending on the sauce you buy so make sure you read the back of the packet. Also, yes I am aware that the sauce I am using is intended for tuna pasta bake but we had it in the cupboard so I made do – when making yours you can find a more appropriate sauce mix. Once my sauce was ready I added it to the dish with the pasta.

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Again for the next step I chose an instant ingredient – ready in a minute packet sweetcorn. All I had to do was slightly tear open the packet, drain the sweetcorn and place it in the microwave for one minute. Once the microwave dinged I left it to stand for a further minute before tearing open the rest of the packaging and adding it to my dish; along with the mushrooms and onions. The oven was now also bleeping to tell me the salmon had been in for twenty minutes so I took it out and chopped it up to add it. I then gave everything a good stir.

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So far I was really proud of myself for managing to multi-task without having a breakdown and the next steps were the easiest. I took the golden bread crumbs and shook them all over the dish, followed by some rather unevenly chopped slices of mature cheddar cheese – just as I got to the cheese the phone rang so I really was doing everything at once by this point. What I’m saying is don’t judge me for the fact I couldn’t grate it and make it look nice. With the finish line in sight I turned on my grill to medium and placed the entire dish in for a few minutes until the cheese had melted and the breadcrumbs looked crisp.

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That was it! After what felt like several hours of hard work my masterpiece was complete. I may still require some practice before I am ready for Masterchef but I definitely learnt a lot making this, maybe next time I will even have the time and confidence to make a sauce from scratch.

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It looks so good but unfortunately I have had to cover it with foil and leave it in the oven until everyone else gets back. Currently it is five past nine and there is still no sign of anyone but ho hum I suppose the wait will make the first bite even better, or not.

Thanks for reading, see you tomorrow.

Sophie x




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