Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Fettuccine Greta Garbo (page 85)


Last night my husband and I indulged in the Fettuccine Greta Garbo. It was very good (if I do say so myself)! When we decided on this recipe last week, I asked my husband if he would smoke the rest of the salmon bellies we had in our freezer from last summer. Bless his heart, he smoked them this weekend while we were in Cooper Landing - it's quite the lengthy process from start to finish. He even prepared the smoked salmon for the fettuccine last night without me even asking! I love it when he does the dirty work in the kitchen!

Helping hands

We decided this dish is definitely on our list of meals to make regularly. I liked that I didn't have to buy a ton of ingredients, and that it didn't take very long to make. Since this was my first time making it on my own (I made it last summer with my mom, but I seem to recall that she did most of the work, and I remember my parents making it when I was younger), I wasn't sure how much the recipe would make. But I found the six servings to be right on (at least), so we had A LOT of pasta leftover! Next time I will halve it if it's just the two of us. I highly recommend this dish!

I also think this would be a nice Christmastime dish with the red/sockeye salmon (that's what I used, at least) and the green onions.

The finished product

What could possibly be a better way to lift the spirits on a swelteringly hot day in Fairbanks where the forest fire smoke threatens even the most stable person's sanity? Fettuccine Greta Garbo, served with a spinach and pepper salad, herb dinner rolls and a good quantity of rhubarb wine - all served outside on the deck (just to spite the smoke) did the trick!

The meal cooked up very quickly and came out delicious - instructions for this recipe are especially simple and easy to follow. The only variation I made was adding a couple pinches of dried rosemary to the pasta water. I also cut the recipe down to 2/3 and it was plenty of food to feed five people. I was a little sad that I did not have leftovers for my lunch, but it's so quick and easy that I will definitely be cooking it again!

En guete! (Swiss German for bon appetit)


My Memorial Day weekend was filled with sunshine, hiking, and some ultimate frisbee. As a result, I often found myself hungry, with a special hankering for carb-filled food. Lucky for me, the Fettuccine Greta Garbo was a perfect meal to compliment my activityfilled weekend, and due to the simple ingredient list, I didn't even need to go to the store to put it together.

Delicious yet simple ingredients

I found the pasta to be creamy and delicious, without feeling heavy or over seasoned. The garlic and chives stood out nicely against the cream and the parmesan and smoked salmon provided just the right amount of saltiness to the dish. I halved the recipe and swapped angel hair pasta for fettuccine (making a small dent in the four boxes I had in the pantry), and it worked fine. Leftovers were equally delicious and served as a perfect "welcome to Alaska" dish for friends that arrived later in the day. Overall, the pasta is a perfect quick fix when you are craving something that is simple to prepare but extremely satisfying to eat!

The final product, topped with fresh grated parmesan and pepper


We were lucky enough to spend Memorial Day in Sadie Cove (thanks to the generosity of Maddy and her family). The cabin accommodations were plush and the kitchen was well stocked with pots and pans and utensils. This meal is PERFECT for a big crowd (we were eight) and travels well because there are so few ingredients. Maybe not for a trip into the backcountry, but if you're going somewhere remote, you pretty much only need a cooler and a stove top/camp stove. Hmmm... come to think of this, you probably could make this in the backcountry- as long as it was your first meal. And you aren't afraid of the bears that will flock to the smell of smoked salmon!

The very last packages of last year's smoked copper river reds

We had brought enough for two batches, but after a very successful fishing trip (again, thanks to the Maddy's family) it was clear we only needed one batch. While a bunch of folks grilled fresh halibut, cod and steelhead trout on the beach, Kate started the fettuccine, while Maddy went to work on some fiddleheads we found around the cabin. The fettuccine was quick, and totally divine.


The pasta was as luscious and luxurious as the name suggests. Those green onions were such a brilliant and not-quite-intuitive addition! The one catch- and this may be because there were so many of us to serve- is that the sauce broke by the time the last people got theirs. It was still tasty, but not as creamy and chills-inducing as the folks who were in the front of the line. Anyone else have this problem?


Yum! The smoked king I used in Fettuccine Greta Garbo must’ve been from the salmon’s belly, as it was extra fatty. Combined with the cream, it created richness in the pasta that was phenomenal! I used chives from my garden instead of green onion—the only complaint about the dish was that the raw greens added at the end interrupted the texture of the otherwise cohesive medley of fettuccine and fish. It seems the green onions meshed better in other fiddlers’ attempts!

The ingredients

After logging long plane hours traveling home from abroad over Memorial Day weekend, I built up a hearty appetite for good Fiddlehead Food. I whipped this up late Wednesday evening. Quick and easy, it’s a great weeknight meal. Smoky, yes. Elusive? Depends on your experience, I guess. I’ll definitely rent a Greta Garbo the next night I cook this. Perhaps the silent 1927 film Love where she plays Anna Karenina.

Darling Greta Garbo


  1. All right! Two plugs in the same blog! The Bear Creek wines are something that I am now selling in my present career. I am glad the combination worked.


  2. Is there a substitute for the salmon? I was thinking perhaps smoked turkey or chicken? We are attempting to eat local this summer and unfortunately there are no salmon in KY.

  3. I think you want more natural oil than birds have. Can you find smoked trout? Or a smoked whitefish or chub from the Atlantic? None of those give you the color, but the flavor & texture would work. Gotta get some seafood - nobody wants a goiter. ;-)

  4. What about shrimp? Bay shrimp (the small guys) might be tasty. And of course, in the other direction you could always use bacon. Bacon makes everything tastier! Then, I supposed, it'd be a bit more of a carbonara, but it'd still have the smoke of the original recipe.

  5. I've made this recipe with Nova Lox and it is also DELICIOUS!


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