The inspiration for this recipe comes from a long-ago birthday dinner at a tiny neighborhood Italian restaurant. The restaurant is now (sadly) closed, but their smoked salmon pasta with tomato cream sauce lives on!
The pasta is bathed in a velvety, slightly pink, tomato sauce with a touch of cream. It’s delicious and elegant too. Make a double batch and serve it for company (they’ll think you’ll worked on it all day).
This only requires a little bit of smoked salmon (about a slice or two), so you won’t bust your budget cooking it. Even better, check to see if your market or deli sells smoked salmon ends. They’re much cheaper, and taste just as good as the fancy slices. Besides, a beautiful slice hardly matters when you are going to cut it up into small pieces!
If you don’t have any smoked salmon handy, you can use leftover cooked salmon instead. Add it right at the end. The idea is just to heat it up. You don’t want to overcook it.
To save some time (and get dinner done faster), put the water for the pasta in the pot first, and start bringing it to a boil. While the water is heating up, chop the onion. Then get the second pan going with the butter and oil. Once the water is boiling, add the pasta to the pot. Finish the sauce in the second pan while the pasta cooks. That way, you have dinner in about 20-25 minutes and nothing sits around getting cold.
Smoked Salmon Pasta with Tomato Cream Sauce Substitutions and Variations
- Trade the smoked salmon for leftover cooked salmon.
- Add a shot of vodka for penne a la vodka with salmon.
- Try sun-dried tomatoes instead of crushed tomatoes.
More Pasta Recipes
Sightly spicy pasta with fresh eggplant, and tomato sauce, topped with manchego cheese. Fantastic when you’re hungry and want food fast. The cooking time is reduced by using tomato sauce.
A lovely citrusy tangle of tender pasta, briny olives, and salty feta, mixed in with crunchy fried panko. I shared the photo with some friends, and one said, “”Oh I want that! I want it now! But I’m at work! Sob.”
Easy, quick, and works with either up- or down-scaled ingredients. Use fresh pasta or dried, fresh cheese or pre-shredded. It’s a forgiving recipe that tastes good any way you prepare it.
Cook up some pasta, add some fresh basil, a handful of spinach, and cream (or diluted Greek yogurt) and dinner is done!