Hot-smoked Salmon Carbonara (dairy-free)

We arrive home late; tired and hungry. (In truth, this only applies to us girls; Ollie cycled home full of the joys of spring.)

I look in the fridge and decide I could make something quickly with the salmon. Alarm bells should start ringing at this point: I know better than to make up a recipe when I’m in a fractious frame of mind. 

I mull over dinner ideas while I make a pot of tea and collect in the washing. It’s almost pitch-black but it’s still such a novelty to have it drying on the line. 

Daisy joins me at the kitchen table and I pour the tea. She has a Kipling slice and I have two peanut cookies. I need some fuel before I can cook. Ollie is whooping next door. The confiscation ban has been lifted on the iPad; you’d think he’d been reunited with a long lost friend, the way he’s carrying on. 

Daisy raises her eyebrows at me. 

“So what’s new?” I ask her. 

“Well…my target in maths is still to tell the time to the nearest minute. I mean, I just think it’s ridiculous!”

I laugh, my head resting against the cold wall. 

“I’m not like Edie,” (best friend at school) she continues, “I don’t need to KNOW the time. It’s not important to me”. 

I laugh again. No time would definitely make my life less stressful – I wouldn’t be rushing everywhere. 

Daisy continues with her well-reasoned argument against the concept of time while I put the pasta on. She’s called away though, to help Ollie operate the Batman game. The adrenaline rush is too much for him: he needs someone with steadier hands. He stands beside Daisy shouting in her ear: 

“Slide, Daiz! Jump! Collect the gold coins! Mind out the way!”

I don’t know how she puts up with it, and I come to realise that I shouldn’t have been left on my own in the kitchen either. I have a pot of soya yogurt in my hand and I am actually trying to make a dairy-free sauce out of it. 


I heat the yogurt and it curdles and splits. The pan is abandoned by the sink and I go back to the tried and tested method with the eggs. Tom finds the pan after dinner and asks if I’ve been making rhubarb fool. Good job I didn’t add it to the pasta. 

The meal receives mixed reviews: another girl/boy split. Daisy loves it so much she has seconds, then thirds. Tom is not so keen on the ‘worthy pasta’ (wholemeal). 

As for me, my eyes are on the prize: the LAST episode of House of Cards… Just a few hurdles to jump over before we get there. 


  • 250g hot-smoked salmon
  • 1 courgette, grated or spiralised
  • 400g penne pasta
  • 150g frozen peas
  • Handful of parsley, chopped
  • Grated zest of 1 lemon
  • Salt & pepper
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1 large egg
  • Quarter cup of olive oil 


Put the pasta into a large pan of boiling water. Add the peas and courgettes to the pan two minutes before the end of cooking time. 

Flake the hot smoked salmon. Chop the parsley and grate the lemon zest ready. 

In a bowl whisk up the egg yolks until creamy. Add the whole egg and olive oil and whisk again. 

Drain the pasta when done. Stir in the salmon and cook through gently for a minute. Take the pan off the heat. Add the egg mixture – drizzle and stir in quickly so it doesn’t scramble. Serve in bowls with the lemon zest and parsley sprinkled on top. Season with salt and pepper. 

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