Do your kids dislike canned salmon as much as I do? Then they’re going to love my recipe for Salmon & Olive Pasta! Salmon is a superfood for kids, and this is one of those lifesaver recipes you can pull together in under 20-minutes with just a few ingredients from the cupboard.
Confession time folks, I’m that nutritionist who recommends all her clients eat something that I find it hard to stomach myself, canned salmon. Don’t get me wrong, I love fresh salmon, however it comes, but put it in a can and all I can think of, is cat food.
Fish, especially oily fish like: salmon, sardines, mackerel and trout are without a doubt one of the most nutritious foods we can include in our kids diets. They’re rich in several nutrients that are essential for their growth, such as: protein, selenium, iodine, vitamin D and zinc. They’re also one of the best food sources of the long chain omega-3 fatty acid, docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). DHA is the most abundant omega-3 in the brain and eyes. It’s also an important structural component of heart tissue and is naturally found in breast milk. With our kids brains developing the most in the first 3 years of their life, ensuring they get enough DHA during this period, is critical. Ideally we want them to be eating fish 2x a week, with oily fish at least 1x a week, 2x if possible.
Wild Caught Fish Vs Farmed Fish
Wild-caught fish is caught from a natural environment such as oceans, rivers and lakes. Farmed fish comes from fish farms, where fish are bred for human consumption. As a result, farm-raised fish can be higher in contaminants such as hormones, antibiotics, pesticides and PCBs (highly toxic industrial compounds). Most farmed fish are fed a diet of pellets made from corn and soy too, which are almost always genetically modified. Wild-caught fish is more expensive than farmed, so look for frozen or canned wild caught fish, as these will be more budget friendly.
Canned salmon isn’t only much cheaper it’s also damn convenient. Traveling in outback Australia these past 12-months, has meant our access to any fresh food – especially fish – has been limited. I’ve had to embrace canned salmon and find ways to incorporate it in to our meals, so that I could stomach it. I love these salmon fishcakes and these salmon and millet rissoles, and now I can happily add this, my salmon and olive pasta to the list.
You can leave the salmon pieces chunky or mash it up with a fork in to smaller pieces to incorporate it in to the sauce more. I like this brand of canned salmon, and this one (who does BPA-free tins and glass too).
Salmon & Olive Pasta
Serves: 4 – Prep time: 5-mins – Cook time: 15-mins
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 onion, finely diced
1 garlic clove, minced
300g tinned salmon *preferably wild-caught and BPA free
350g tomato passata sauce *preferably organic
200g green olives, pitted
Zest of ½ lemon
Sea salt & pepper, to season
Handful of chopped fresh herbs, to serve
Fresh parmesan, to serve
Optional extras: 100g baby spinach, 1 zucchini grated in to “zoodles”, 1 Tbsp my Herby Pesto – any, or all of these, can be mixed through when you combine the pasta and sauce.
- Bring a large pan of water to the boil and cook spaghetti as per instructions.
- While the pasta is cooking, add olive oil in a large pan over a medium to low heat. Add onions and garlic and cook for a few minutes until soft (be careful not to burn them).
- Add tomato passata and olives and gently simmer for 10 minutes.
- Drain the oil from your tinned salmon and flake salmon pieces in to the tomato sauce and stir to combine – here is where you can leave the salmon pieces as large chunks or mix them in to tiny pieces.
- Add lemon zest and mix through.
- Pour your pasta sauce over your drained pasta and combine
- Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Serve with some grated Parmesan cheese and chopped fresh parsley, if you wish.