Salmon – smoked or otherwise – isn’t a traditional Italian ingredient (you certainly won’t find it on many restaurant menus, even today) but it has grown in popularity amongst Italian home cooks. In fact, there are actually a number of Italian producers that smoke salmon themselves – although they still use fish imported from Scotland or Scandinavia, as salmon aren’t indigenous to the warm waters of the Mediterranean.
Other than as part of an antipasti spread, by far the most popular way to eat smoked salmon in Italy is with pasta. As smoked salmon pasta isn’t a regional Italian dish, there are as many variations as there are home cooks. That said, most recipes typically involve a creamy sauce, paired with either farfalle or penne.
Our smoked salmon pasta recipe uses mascarpone cheese, butter and a ladle of pasta water to create a delightfully creamy sauce. Lemon zest and fresh dill provide freshness and help to cut through the rich, smoky salmon. This dish comes together in no time, so get all your ingredients ready before you start.
Our farfalle al salmone recipe
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
Calories per serving: 457 kcal
- 500g fresh farfalle, or 400g dried
- 200g smoked salmon
- 125g mascarpone
- 25g unsalted butter, at room temperature
- Zest of 2 unwaxed lemons
- 10g fresh dill, finely chopped
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Warm a large serving bowl by filling with hot water and putting to one side.
- Bring a large pan of water to the boil, then salt well and stir. Add the pasta, stir again and cook until al dente. If using fresh pasta, cook for 3-4 minutes, for dried, aim for 2 minutes less than the packet instructions.
- While the pasta cooks away happily, cut the smoked salmon into small strips using scissors or a sharp knife. Empty your now warm serving bowl of water, then put the salmon, mascarpone, butter and the zest of 1 lemon into it.
- Add a ladle of your pasta cooking water to your bowl of sauce ingredients, then mix well to create a creamy sauce. Taste and adjust the seasoning.
- Once the pasta is ready, drain, reserving some of the pasta cooking water. Add the pasta to your bowl of sauce, then toss well to ensure the pasta is fully coated. Add some of the reserved cooking water if you think it needs it.
- Transfer to bowls, top with another grating of lemon zest and a sprinkling of dill, then serve. Buon appetito!