Smoked Salmon Pasta

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.

Smoked Salmon Pasta Recipe

  • Prep time: 10 minutes
  • Cook time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 2 to 3.

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces spaghetti (or other) pasta
  • Salt
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/3 cup chopped shallots (can substitute onions)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/3 cup dry white wine (can substitute pasta cooking water with a Tbsp of lemon juice)
  • 1/4 cup cream
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 Tbsp lemon zest (divided into 1 Tbsp and 1 Tbsp)
  • 2 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley or dill
  • 4 ounces smoked salmon, cut into bite sized pieces
  • Fresh ground black pepper

Method

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

2 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).

3 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.

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

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Follow on Pinterest

Links:
Farfalle with Smoked Salmon, Cream Cheese, and Artichoke Hearts from Nook and Pantry
Smoked Trout Pasta with Verde Sauce from What's On My Plate
Spaghetti con Acciughe by Hank of Hunter Angler Gardener Cook

Smoked Salmon Pasta on Simply Recipes

40 Comments

  1. radish

    Elise, do you think if i omit dairy (my bf is lactose intolerant and we try to cook dairy-free) it’ll still work? I wonder what I could substitute for a thickening sauce to bind all the ingredients… Other than that, it looks like a very tasty, quick meal! And who doesn’t love smoked salmon?

    Hi Radish, you can easily omit the cream. In fact, I made it first without any cream, just with white wine and pasta cooking water. I like it better with a little cream, but it isn’t necessary. ~Elise

  2. Amy

    Add a couple of spears of steamed asparagus, and you’ve just described one of our favorite pasta meals! I’ve even seen a 2 year old eat it with pleasure!

    I’m pregnant now, though, and the doctors say not to eat smoked salmon (who knows why!), so we substitute poached salmon — and it’s still pretty good!

  3. Elizabeth Holmes

    Where do you get smoked salmon?

    It’s pretty easy to come by at the grocery stores around here. It’s packaged and in a refrigerated section. Or you can order some online. ~Elise

  4. Karl

    Oops!

    I accidentally drained all the pasta water without reserving any. In desperation, I used another 2/3 cups of cream (since it tends to come in 1 cup containers and that’s what I had left) and was pleasantly surprised when it worked out just fine.

    My wife loved it since it saved us, as I mentioned above, from another Friday of Tuna Noodle Casserole. I am a big hero with my wife – and that is never a bad thing. Thank you Elise.

  5. Linda

    Hi Elise,

    I love Salmon. Great Recipe!. When I cook salmon for dinner and if there is any leftover.
    I toss it with pasta or make pate. My choice for smoked salmon is Seabolts on Whidbey Island here in Washington state. It is a small family business.

    Linda In Washington State

  6. Donald

    Elise, this looks like a delicate yet tasty combination.

    I actually smoke my own salmon, thanks to Emeril, I drank the Kool-Aid and bought a stove top smoker, so look forward to a link back to this recipe. I am thinking about how this will taste, and it’s almost 2 in the morning!

    Another nice dish!

  7. Michelle

    If adding cream cheese, how much and how to add? This recipe sounds amazing!

    Look at the links to other recipes at the bottom of the post. Personally, I would add no more than a 1/4 cup and I would whisk it into the white wine. ~Elise

  8. Simply

    Wow this sounds absolutely delicious! Definitely will give it a try. Quick question about this step:

    1/3 cup dry white wine (can substitute pasta cooking water with a Tbsp of lemon juice)

    Does that mean I can substitute the wine with the water/lemon juice? I see in the recipe that you used wine, water, and lemon juice so I was just wondering. My boyfriend is Muslim and I’d like to omit this part.

    Yep, you would just use more water and more lemon juice. Just don’t omit the cream if you do this. ~Elise

  9. steamy kitchen

    e-
    smoked trout sounds wonderful in a pasta…

    xo, j

  10. Andaly

    Could I substitute cream cheese for cream?

  11. olio

    You can try this pasta also using fresh little hot pepper in place of black pepper :-)

  12. katy

    Oh my goodness — I bet this would be incredible with smoked black cod (a little hard to find, but SO buttery and delicious)! Whole Foods carries it, and I love eating it plain, but I’ve been trying to think of dishes to incorporate it into!

  13. Deborah Dowd

    My daughter made this recipe for her boyfriend for Valentine’s day and it was a big hit!

  14. Christina

    This sounds lovely. Have you ever tried using creme fraiche in place of cream? I’m going to try this tomorrow for Easter with baby green peas (with roasted asparagus spears and a green salad alongside).

  15. soapbox mom (formerly bmgmom)

    Another winner! My hubby and I loved this simple and delicious recipe. I’ve added it to my “keeper” file.

  16. Marie Scott

    I recently found your blog and made this recipe. It turned out fantastic. I really like your blog and your recipes. I can’t wait to try the smoked salmon and gruyere sandwich next.

  17. Charles

    To Amy, it’s not just the smoked salmon you should not eat while pregnant, it’s any oily predatory fish at all, including fresh salmon and tuna of any kind. The reason is mercury. There is no safe level of mecury exposure for your unborn child. In fact, women of child bearing age should seriously limit their exposure even if they aren’t planning on getting pregnant soon.

    I was looking for some ideas to make salmon and spaghetti this evening, so I’m trying this out with some yummy canned slamon I have on the shelf. I’m sure it will be great!

  18. John C

    Omit the cream and otherwise this recipe is fine.

  19. Diana

    I was wondering if you could serve this dish cold as it is
    summer and I’m looking for a cold dish to serve my Mah Jongg group.
    What do you think?

    No, I think I remember trying the leftovers cold and they weren’t very good that way. Much better warm. You might want to take a look at some of the noodle salad recipes on the site as an alternative. ~Elise

  20. Rita

    Really good and simple recipe. I toasted some almonds and used red wine instead and turned out delicious!

  21. Laurel

    For all the pregnant women craving smoked salmon (like me!), this recipe is actually perfect! Doctors recommend against smoked salmon b/c of listeriosis (the same reason as deli meats), but if it has been heated to steaming you should be good to go! I would simply add the salmon to the sauce before adding the pasta and make sure to heat thru. Enjoy!

  22. Ashley R.

    Mmmmm….just made this for lunch and I’m STUFFED! It was really good. I cut the lemon zest to about 2 tsp, and it was plenty for my taste. I used a packaged smoked salmon (in the tuna aisle), and it was good, but next time I’m going for the more pungent stuff you find in teh refrigerated section. Loved the pine nuts, loved the sauce, loved the ease of preparation. Sprinkled a litle Parmesan on my second helping for an added guilt factor. :-) Very yummy, and I’ll be making it again.

  23. Evelyn

    I made this exacly according to the recipe, using the cream, and my husband I both thought it was delicious. What an easy, nutritious and tasty meal!

  24. Jacques R.

    Might I suggest a salad beforehand consisting of arugula, a dressing made of good olive oil, lemon juice, ground pepper and salt. Top it off with shavings of Parmesan. YUM!

  25. Celia

    Help! The cream curdled when I added it to the sauce. O.k., I used whole milk rather than cream, because that’s what I had, and the pasta water variation rather than wine, but surely those things wouldn’t make the difference? Made the sauce again without any cream and it was still delicious, but would love suggestions for how to avoid the curdling when I make this in the future.

    Use cream, not milk. That will help prevent curdling. ~Elise

  26. Katie in the UK

    Hi,

    Found this recipe on google whilst looking for something to do with smoked salmon, and I have to say its the nicest pasta recipe I’ve had for a long time, thank you! I used half fat creme fraiche (don’t know if thats what its called in the US) instead of cream and it worked beautifully.

    Will be checking your site regularly from now on!

  27. Joanie

    We just had this for dinner and the sight of it prompted my husband to open our fave bottle of red wine to go with! We served Scalloped Potatoes (also from Simply Recipes) along with a Spinach Leaf-Mozarella Salad on the side. For the pasta, we used smoked salmon bought from IKEA and simply toss it in when the pasta and sauce were well-mixed. Simply Yummy! Thank you Elise!

    I have been seeking your blog whenever I run out of ideas of what else to cook or simply wanted something different. Here in Singapore, our diet is mostly Chinese (I used Basmatic Rice) with stir-fry dishes. I shall definitely try out your Asian dishes cos they look interesting and yet familiar and homecooked enough to wanna try approaching it in a non-Asian but Elise’s way of cooking it!

  28. renaccio

    Excellent recipe. Quite delicious. My Tuscan man loved it and mopped the rest of the sauce out of the pan. That tells me it was a big hit.

  29. June

    This is delicious Elise. We had it last night for dinner and enjoyed it very much – I added some asparagus and extra cream, but basically followed your version. Thanks so much for the inspiration!

  30. Dawid @ przepis-na.eu

    Great dish. Did it today but i’ve used cashew nuts instead pine nuts. Also delicious.

  31. Christine Tam

    I’m wondering if I can make the sauce the day ahead if I want to serve this at a party at my house and need to keep cooking to a minimum in order to entertain the kids and adults? This looks so yummy!

    You mean make ahead the sauce and make the pasta right before serving? Could work. ~Elise

  32. rose

    I just made this for a girlie Friday night in, was perfect! I added some garlic and fresh chili and used reduced fat creme fraiche instead of cream and it was totally delish! Thanks! x

  33. Wolfgang

    Cooked this for my family today. It was so delicious. And the whole process -buying the ingredients at whole foods, preparing and cooking- took only 1h. thanks for this great recipe! Goes well with 1 or 2 glasses of Californian Chardonnay. Prost.

  34. Sarah

    I made this last night and we loved it. It will become a staple for us! Sarah

  35. Nathalie

    Simple, quick and healthy recipe. Ready to eat in 15mn, just what you need on a week day. We have a low salt approach to cooking, so we did not add any salt and with the salt from the pasta cooking water and the smoked salmon, it was perfect. First time on this blog and will definitely put it in my list of favorites.

  36. Fiona

    Great! Just what I was looking for. I needed something quick and easy using smoked salmon and pasta. And, I had everything in the pantry except for the pine nuts (so I left them out). It’s also good to know that it will stand up to improvisation.

  37. sonia

    I made this tonight for our family and everyone loved it. My son (age 5) had 4 servings and my daughter (age 3) has two. Thanks for the recipe!

  38. Karen

    THIS IS FAB!!! I used home smoked salmon and did add some lightly steamed chopped asparagus! More wine and more cream! This is soooooooo yummy! Thanks for sharing!

  39. lp

    this is a great recipe,

    when i did it i used sliced garlic instead of minced and let it get crispy for extra flavor/texture, I also left out the pine nuts and added capers. also, went with mostly parsley but had to add the optional dill (not too much as it can get overpowering).

    fantastic result.

  40. Elizabeth

    Made this for dinner for the family last night and everyone absolutely LOVED it. Thank you so much xx

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