Warm Smoked Trout Pasta Salad with Dill and Creme Fraiche

It's been three months since my beautiful friend, Peta, moved to France. Peta is a true gem, she's kind, ever generous, energetic and fun, as well as being incredibly adept at offering good advice. And so, you can imagine, she is dearly missed.

One stunning Sunday afternoon before she left, Peta's family threw her a going away party. Besides that fervent combination of excitement and sadness in the pit of my stomach, I recall from that day a smoked trout pasta salad, which had Ben and I in a particular spin. It was light, understated and terribly scrumptious.

And so, some Sundays later, I decided to recreate this pasta salad for lunch. My version is a little jazzed up, a little more gutsy. I fear you couldn't name it understated. Yet it remains light and terribly scrumptious. I find it to be fresh, comforting and all round rather favourable.

You might just call this my ideal weekend lunch.

Ben and I leave for our honeymoon in four weeks, which means that in five weeks I will be reunited with my lovely Peta. It'll be all French wine and cheese, with long walks through gardens and down boulevards, exploring the streets of Paris. Then we'll sit on our Moroccan Riad rooftop sipping mint tea, before heading to the bustling night food markets. All the while talking life, love, hopes, dreams and adventure. I can hardly wait.

Warm Smoked Trout Pasta Salad with Dill and Creme Fraiche

Serves 4, for a light lunch.

250g Pasta
150g Smoked Trout
75g Green Beans
60g Radish
2 handfuls Baby Spinach
4 tablespoons Creme Fraiche
2 teaspoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 teaspoon Garlic-Infused Extra Virgin Olive Oil (if you do not have any, I highly suggest you purchase some. I buy Cobram Estate brand, found in Woolworths. Or simple use more extra virgin olive oil).
1 tablespoon Lemon Juice
1 tablespoon chopped fresh Dill
Sea Salt and Freshly Cracked Black Pepper

1. Put a pot of salted water on to boil.
2. Cut your green beans into quarters or thirds (depending how long your bean is).
3. Slice your radish (not too fine, you want some crunch) and flake your smoked trout with a fork into a small bowl then set aside.
4. Add your pasta to the pot of boiling water and cook according to packet instructions until al dente (please do not over-cook your pasta! It's a true crime). While the pasta is cooking, steam your green beans for a few minutes in a steamer over the top of the pasta pot. You want them cooked but to still have a little crunch to them. Once the beans are cooked, run them under cold water to arrest the cooking process, then set aside.
5. While you wait for your pasta to finish cooking, prepare your dressing: add the creme fraiche, oils and lemon juice to a small bowl. Stir vigorously to combine. Add a little sea salt and a generous amount of freshly cracked pepper. Stir again, then set aside.
6. To a large bowl, add your spinach leaves. One your pasta is cooked, drain it then add to the large bowl on top of the spinach leaves, stirring and allowing the leaves to wilt ever so slightly. Add your beans, radish, trout, dill and then 2/3rds of your dressing. Toss well to combine and then add as much of the remaining dressing as you desire (I had a little left over). Serve.

Heidi xo