1 lb. salmon steak or fillet 
1 tbsp.  vegetable oil
1/2 generous tsp. salt, divided
1/4 generous tsp. black pepper, divided
1 12 ounce jar roasted sweet red pepper, well drained
1 16 ounce bag pappardelle pasta
3 tbsp. minced shallot
1 1/2 cup light cream
1/2 cup reserved pasta water
2 tsp. sriracha (optional)
3 cups baby spinach


Pat salmon dry. Allow to sit at room temperature for 15 minutes before cooking. 

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil for pasta.

Using a food processor or a blender, puree the roasted red pepper. Set aside.

Preheat a large skillet on medium high. Season both sides of salmon with a sprinkling of salt and pepper. 

When skillet is hot, add 1 tablespoon oil. Add salmon, skin side down. Reduce heat to medium. Gently press down of salmon with a spatula  for 10-15 seconds to ensure the skin comes in contact with the skillet. At this point, leave the salmon alone. The flesh will lighten in color as it cooks from the bottom up. Cook for 4  to 6 minutes or until the pale color has reached 2/3 way up. Flip salmon over. Cook for approximately 2 minutes or until the sides of the salmon turn almost completely pale. 

If using salmon steak where the sides are covered by skin, use a instant read thermometer to test for doneness. Insert thermometer into the deepest part. It's done when the temperature reaches 135 degrees F.

Remove salmon from skillet. Allow to rest for 5 minutes. Remove and discard skin. Break into bite size chunks. Set aside.

Add pasta to the pot of boiling water. Cook until al dente. Reserve 1/2 cup of water. One minute before draining, stir in spinach. Drain pasta.

Bring skillet back to heat on medium. Add shallot, stirring constantly for 2 minutes. Add a additional teaspoon or so of oil if the shallot sticks to pan. Stir in light cream, reserved pasta water, and pureed red peppers. Add sriracha and the remaining salt and pepper. Increase heat to medium high. When sauce begins to bubble, reduce heat to medium low. Simmer gently for 2 minutes. Fold in salmon. Simmer for a minute to reheat salmon. Season with additional salt and pepper to taste, if needed.

Return pasta back to the pot. Pour sauce over pasta. Work the sauce into the pasta being careful not to break up the salmon pieces. Serve hot.

Makes 4 servings.