Pasta tossed with a creamy parmesan sauce and flakes of salmon. Alfredo pasta made the real proper restaurant way, you only need 1/2 cup of cream to serve 3. It’s simple, it’s magic, it’s the way real Italian pastas are made. No need to drown this salmon pasta in cream!
I’ve written before about the “proper” way to make pastas. The way Italian Nonna’s do. The way real Italian restaurants do.
It’s not about using loads and loads of sauce. The magic step that makes all the difference between a decent pasta and a really great one is tossing the pasta gently with the sauce and some of the pasta cooking water, just before serving.
What this does is activate the starch in the water and it mingles with the oil in the sauce, so it becomes glossy and luscious and coats every strand of pasta. It’s called emulsification, and it’s the real-deal-proper-way to make pasta.
Gone are the days of dumping of pile of pasta in a bowl and spooning over loads of sauce! And especially for creamy pastas, it’s an important step because that’s how to make less cream go further.
Hence you can indulge in this creamy Alfredo Salmon Pasta without using an entire tub of cream. 🙂
Cream does not make my weekly shopping basket. In fact, I very rarely cook with cream. But I had leftovers from Christmas, and used some to make a Creamy Lemon Chicken and the rest for this.
It’s been over 6 months since I shared a creamy pasta made with cream so I figure I’m due!!
I made this salmon pasta using hot smoked salmon which I purchased already smoked. I have attempted smoking my own salmon before, without success. I need to practice!!!
However, this will be really lovely made with plain cooked salmon too, and I’ve provided directions for this in the recipe. The sauce is so beautifully creamy, it really doesn’t matter whether the salmon is smoked or not. But the hot smoked salmon definitely adds an edge to the flavour!
Now, enough with the chatter. Who wants some Alfredo Salmon Pasta? – Nagi x
More ways to get your creamy pasta fix!
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Salmon Alfredo Pasta
- 8 oz / 250g dried fettuccine
- 3 tbsp / 50g unsalted butter
- 1 small shallot (US) / eschallot (Australia), very finely minced (Note 1)
- ½ cup / 125 ml heavy cream (Note 2)
- ¾ cup / 185 ml freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano or parmesan (Notes 3 and 4)
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- Good grind of black pepper
- 6-7 oz / 180 - 200g hot smoked salmon fillet , flaked (Note 5)
- Fresh parsley (optional)
- Extra Parmigiano Reggiano
- Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Add the fettuccine and cook until al dente (still firm but just cooked through). (Note 6)
- Meanwhile, melt the butter in a deep fry pan over medium high heat. (Note 7)
- Add the shallots and sauté for 2 minutes or until tender.
- Add the cream and bring to boil. Turn heat down to medium low and simmer for 3 minutes.
- Remove the fry pan from the heat and stir through the Parmigiano Reggiano, salt and pepper until the sauce is smooth.
- TAKE OUT 1/2 cup of pasta water PLUS scoop out an extra mug (extra, just in case). Then drain the pasta in a colander.
- Transfer the pasta and 1/2 cup of reserved pasta water into the fry pan with the sauce. Add salmon. Return the fry pan to the stove over medium heat. Toss very gently to coat the pasta in the sauce and allow the sauce to emulsify (Note 6) for 1 1/2 - 2 minutes, until the sauce coats the pasta - there should be no sauce pooled at the bottom of the skillet. (Note 7)
- Remove from the stove and serve immediately, garnished with extra Parmigiano Reggiano and fresh parsley, if using.