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Smoked Salmon Pasta

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Smoked salmon with pasta in a sauce of shallots, garlic, white wine, lemon, and cream, with toasted pine nuts and parsley.


Updated July 03, 2021

Elise Bauer

What I love about this recipe, other than the ingredients (smoked salmon, pine nuts, yum!) is that it can be pulled together so quickly and it’s not particularly heavy, as so many cream sauce pastas can be.

There’s also room for maneuvering; add more or less wine or cream to taste; leave out the pine nuts if you can’t be bothered; add some asparagus or cream cheese if you want; use smoked trout or sturgeon instead of the salmon.

The essentials are smoked fish, lemon, garlic, and pasta with some olive oil, wine, and or cream binding them together.

Elise Bauer
  • 8 ounces spaghetti, or other pasta

  • Salt

  • 1/4 cup pine nuts

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

  • 1/3 cup chopped shallots or onions

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1/3 cup dry white wine (can substitute pasta cooking water with 1 tablespoon lemon juice)

  • 1/4 cup cream

  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice

  • 2 tablespoons lemon zest, divided

  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley or dill

  • 4 ounces smoked salmon, cut into bite-sized pieces

  • Freshly ground black pepper

  1. Put pasta water on to boil:

    Heat to boiling a large pot with at least 4 quarts of salted water in it. (2 tablespoons of salt for 4 quarts of water.)

  2. Toast the pine nuts:

    While the water is heating, brown the pine nuts. Put the pine nuts in a single layer in a large skillet. Heat on medium heat, stirring occasionally, until fragrant and lightly browned. Remove pine nuts from pan and set aside.

  3. Start cooking the pasta:

    Once the water is boiling, add the pasta to the pot. Cook uncovered on high heat at a rolling boil. Put the timer on for 8-10 minutes, or whatever your pasta package says is appropriate for al dente (cooked but still a little firm).

    Once the pasta is done, and before draining the pasta, scoop out one cup of the pasta cooking liquid and reserve.

  4. Prepare the sauce:

    While the pasta is cooking, prepare the sauce. In a large skillet heat olive oil on medium heat. Add the shallots and garlic, cook for 2 minutes, then add white wine, lemon juice, and 1 Tbsp of lemon zest. Increase the heat and let boil down by half.

    If you want a slightly creamy sauce, add the cream and let boil a minute more.

    The sauce should be done about the same time the pasta is done. If you get done earlier with it than the pasta, take it off the heat.

  5. Add pasta, some pasta cooking liquid, smoked salmon, toasted pine nuts, parsley, zest to sauce:

    Drain the pasta and add it to the skillet with the sauce. Add back some of the pasta cooking liquid to the pasta if it is a little dry. Add the smoked salmon, toasted pine nuts, parsley, and the remaining lemon zest. Season with freshly ground black pepper.

Elise Bauer
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
427 Calories
26g Fat
31g Carbs
14g Protein

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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 2
to 3
Amount per serving
Calories 427
% Daily Value*
26g 34%
Saturated Fat 7g 34%
31mg 10%
963mg 42%
31g 11%
Dietary Fiber 3g 11%
Total Sugars 3g
14g
Vitamin C 11mg 57%
Calcium 47mg 4%
Iron 3mg 14%
Potassium 299mg 6%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.

Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate. In cases where multiple ingredient alternatives are given, the first listed is calculated for nutrition. Garnishes and optional ingredients are not included.

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