Smoked Salmon Pasta with Tomato Cream Sauce

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

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 25 minutes

Category: dinner

Cuisine: Italian

one serving

Smoked Salmon Pasta with Tomato Cream Sauce

Creamy, velvety pasta with smoked salmon. A dish elegant enough for company (but you don't have to share).

Ingredients

  • 4 oz. short pasta
  • 2 quarts water
  • 1 tsp unsalted butter
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 T onion, chopped
  • 1/4 C crushed or pureed tomatoes
  • 1/4 C cream
  • pinch red pepper flakes
  • 1 or two slices smoked salmon, chopped (about 1/4 C)

Instructions

  1. Fill a saucepan with the water and bring to a boil. Once the water is boiling, add the pasta and cook for 5-8 minutes.
  2. While the pasta is cooking, melt the butter and oil in a small saucepan on medium heat.
  3. Add the chopped onion, and cook until translucent (about five minutes).
  4. Add the tomatoes and simmer for 10 minutes.
  5. Add cream and pepper flakes.
  6. Bring to a simmer until thick (about 5 minutes).
  7. Add the salmon and heat for a minute.
  8. Drain the pasta, and pour into the pot with the sauce. Stir everything together and serve.

 

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

Pasta alla Norma with Eggplant

Summer Pasta with Green Olives and Feta Cheese

Linguine with Garlic and Olive Oil

Spaghetti with Spinach and Lemon Cream Sauce




Salmon with Greek Yogurt Dill Sauce

Salmon with Greek yogurt dill sauce is a great combination.  The piquancy of the Greek yogurt complements the rich flavor of the fish beautifully. The pinch of mustard gives it a bit of a bite, without overwhelming the rest of the dish.

The other great thing about this dinner is that it’s quick and easy to make.  Just mix a few simple ingredients for the sauce (which uses ingredients you probably already have, so no need for a special trip to the grocery store), season the salmon, and put the fish in the oven while the sauce flavors combine.

I’ve written the recipe for a toaster oven (since I don’t want to heat up the whole apartment), but you can make this in a standard oven too. Or, if you’re really pressed for time (or very hungry), you can cook it in your microwave.  If you do, once the sauce is made and the fish is seasoned, you can have dinner in 6 minutes.

It’s a quick meal that looks (and tastes) like you cooked for hours. And, it’s easy to scale this up and serve it when you have company.

If you have the time, do let the sauce sit for a while before you cook everything else.  It really does improve the flavor.

I served the salmon with some jasmine rice (which is my new favorite rice), the rest of the cucumber I used for the sauce (fresh from the farmer’s market), and some beautiful, ripe Jersey tomatoes.

It’s a great summer meal because it’s light, doesn’t require a lot of fussing, and it’s ready in a few minutes. And, since you’re cooking the dish in foil, there’s one less thing to wash when you’re finished (which is always a bonus, as far as I’m concerned).


Salmon with Greek Yogurt Dill Sauce

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Category: entree

Cuisine: American

one serving

Salmon with Greek Yogurt Dill Sauce

An easy salmon dinner with a yogurt dill sauce.

Ingredients

    Sauce!
  • 2T plain Greek yogurt
  • 1T mayo
  • 1/2 tsp cucumber (finely chopped), divided
  • 1/tsp onion (finely chopped)
  • pinch dry mustard
  • 1/2 tsp dried dill
  • salt and pepper
    Salmon!
  • 1 salmon fillet
  • 1 T white wine
  • 1 bay leaf
  • salt and pepper

Instructions

  1. Make the sauce first.
  2. Add all the sauce ingredients (using half the cucumber) to a small bowl and mix together. It's best if it sits for an hour or two so that the flavors blend together. If you don't have the time (or you're really hungry), just let it sit while you cook the salmon.
  3. If you're letting the sauce marinate, wait forty minutes and then start the salmon. If not, then start once you've finished mixing the sauce.
  4. Heat your toaster oven to 350 degrees.
  5. Place the salmon skin side down on a sheet of aluminum foil. Pour the wine over the fish, add the bay leaf, and season with salt and pepper. Wrap the fish in the foil and place it on the toaster oven's baking tray. Cook for 20-25 minutes, depending on how thick your salmon fillet is. The fish is done when it's an even pale pink color.
  6. Serve with the sauce and top with the remaining cucumber.

Notes

If you're in a hurry, you can also cook the salmon in a microwave. Place the fish on a microwave proof plate. Add the wine, bay leaf, and salt and pepper. Microwave 4-6 minutes.

If you don't have an open bottle of white wine, you can use chicken stock instead.

More Fish Recipes

Indian Fish Fillet in Yogurt Sauce

Greek Fish with Lemon and Tomatoes

Easy Mediterranean Fish Stew

Pan-Fried Tilapia with Lemon Butter Sauce


Quick Dinner Recipes for One Person

You get home from work, you’re tired, you’re hungry, and you’re thinking, “How can I make a quick dinner for one that won’t take forever to cook?” You open the refrigerator, and stare inside, hoping for inspiration. You’re tempted to go for fast food, or reach for the menu from the pizza place.

Skip the takeout and make one of these quick dinner recipes for one person instead. They’re all a single serving, but you can make enough for two, save the rest, and reheat it a day or two later (then you get dinner in 2 minutes!).

Most of these recipes take about 20 minutes to cook. Cut up some fruit, heat some rice (I always make extra), make a quick salad, or grab some crusty bread, and you’ve got dinner!

Quick Dinner Recipes for One

Single Serving Creole Cabbage with Sausage

creole cabbage and sausage

Skillet Chicken Thighs with Mushroom Sauce

chicken mushroom skillet recipe

Chicken with Broccoli and Mushrooms

Ingredients

1 chicken breast (or thigh)
1/2 egg (beaten)*
flour for dredging
salt/pepper to taste
1/4 tsp. dried tarragon
pinch mustard powder
2T olive oil
1/2 C frozen broccoli
1/2 C. portobello mushrooms
4 T chicken broth

Instructions

1. Season flour with tarragon, mustard, salt and pepper.
2. Dip chicken in beaten egg, then in flour mixture.
3. Cut the chicken into thin strips, about 2 inches long and 1/4 inch wide.
4. Heat oil in heavy skillet. Add the mushrooms and cook a minute or two. Add the broccoli, then the chicken broth, and the chicken. Cook stirring about 1-2 minutes, until chicken is cooked through.

*Note: Beat the entire egg, then pour off half of it into a container. Use that to make a Single Serving Eggplant Parmesan Recipe.




Easy Italian Wedding Soup Recipe

easy italian wedding soup

Ham Steak with Apples and Calvados

Most ham steak recipes go straight for the pineapple.  Pineapple is good, but I thought apples and a splash of calvados might be a bit more sophisticated.  It was!

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 20 minutes

Ingredients

1 T 
butter
1 small apple, sliced
pinch 
nutmeg
1 tsp brown sugar
2 
cloves
1/4 C calvados (or cider or apple juice or a combination)
1 slice 
ham steak

Instructions

1. Saute sliced apples in butter. Add nutmeg, brown sugar, cloves, and calvados (or cider or apple juice)
2. Add slices of ham. Cook until heated through. Add flour if necessary to thicken sauce.

Easy Chicken Curry Recipe for One

curry chicken for one person

Pasta Pesto with Pistachios and Broccoli

 

pistachio pasta pesto

Salmon with Greek Yogurt Dill Sauce for One

salmon greek yogurt dill sauce

Singapore Noodles Dinner Recipe for One

single serving singapore noodles



More Quick Dinner Recipe Ideas

101 Meals in 10 Minutes

Get in and out of the kitchen quickly with tasty food that’s easy to prepare. Add some bread, maybe some wine, and you’re done. Note that these are (as the author notes), not “formal recipes, but outlines.” Follow along, adapt, or mix and match as it suits you.

Jacques Pepin’s Fast Food My Way

Start with a French chef and you know the food will be good. His version of fast food has no Big Macs in sight. Instead, you’ll get sweet potato chowder, oven baked salmon with sun-dried tomato and salsa mayonnaise.

101 Picnic Dishes in 20 Minutes

Here are 101 recipes you can make quickly. Less time in the kitchen, more time in the park!

15 Minute Meals from Allrecipes

Get dinner in a hurry with recipes for tilapia parmesan, Asian beef with snow peas, and a yummy Vietnamese sandwich (among others).

Greek Syle Fish

This has become one of my favorites during the summer. It’s tasty (and quick) when it’s hot and I don’t feel like cooking. Use greenmarket tomatoes (if you can get them).

Newman’s Own 30 Minute Meals

Easy chicken, seafood, fish, and pasta meals in minutes: gyro steak salad, fiesta pizza, Joanne’s cioppino (fish stew), and potato and chorizo frittata,

Quick Dinner Cookbooks


Mark Bittman’s Kitchen Express

Mark Bittman is the king of quick and easy cooking. Many of the recipes don’t even require measuring. The book is divided by seasons; 101 dishes for each one. He’s got Latin, Creole, Caribbean and Asian flavors, including pasta jambalaya, Korean barbecued beef, and white bean stew.


The Bon Appetit Cookbook: Fast Easy Fresh

The name pretty much says it all. It’s got over 1,000 recipes made with ingredients that are easy to find. This book uses everyday ingredients, tells you what’s in season, and organizes the recipes by both types of foods and meals. Great if you’ve got some fish and don’t know what to do with it.


French Cooking in Ten Minutes: Adapting to the Rhythm of Modern Life (1930)

Before Rachel Ray, there was Eduard de Pomaine. This cookbook shows you how to make veal, beef, fish, desserts, and even soups in only a few minutes. And, it’s funny and well-written.

Yes, it was written long ago, but the translators have kindly included instructions on updating it for the modern kitchen (if it took 10 minutes chopping by hand, imagine what you can do with a mini-chopper!)