Pappardelle with Steelhead Trout, Preserved Lemon and Creme Fraiche

From Matthew Altizer

2013 May/Jun

The flavours in this dish are subtle and complex, but have a beautiful aroma that complements steelhead trout perfectly. Make sure to use a pappardelle that is thin and delicate.


  • 1 c. crème fraîche
  • 1 lb. steelhead trout, finely diced
  • 1/2 preserved lemon rind, rinsed and finely minced (available at Middle Eastern and specialty groceries)
  • 1 T. capers, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 t. crushed fennel seeds
  • 2 T. verjus* (available at specialty food stores)
  • kosher salt and chile flakes to taste
  • 1 t. lemon zest
  • 2 T. butter
  • 1/2 c. panko bread crumbs
  • kosher salt and chile flakes to taste
  • 2 T. finely chopped Italian parsley
  • 1 lb. pappardelle


salt, chile flakes and half of the lemon zest to the crème fraîche and stir it to combine. Keep stirring the trout in the pan until it just barely starts to warm up – warming the fish ever so slightly will allow the hot pasta to cook the fish to perfection when it’s all tossed together.

Melt the butter in a small sauté pan and stir in the bread crumbs, making sure to stir them constantly until they turn golden brown, keeping in mind that they will darken a bit further when you turn off the heat. Season the bread crumbs with salt and chile flakes, and then stir in the remaining lemon rind and chopped parsley. Set aside.

When the water comes to a boil, season it generously with salt and cook the pappardelle according to the instructions on the package. Reserve about a teacup full of pasta water before draining the pasta. Return the pasta to the pot you cooked it in and immediately stir in the trout mixture, mixing just to combine, adding some of the reserved pasta water if it looks too thick. Divide the pasta among four bowls and garnish each one with a sprinkling of the reserved breadcrumbs. Serves 4 as a starter.