Penne alla salmone (penne with smoked salmon) is an incredibly simple dish and is one of my favorite ways to enjoy smoked salmon! The salty-sweet flavor of the salmon mixed with a cream sauce turns a few basic ingredients into a luxurious and velvety pasta dish.
Although this recipe works fine with fresh salmon (especially leftover salmon) I prefer hot smoked salmon as opposed to lox. Hot smoked salmon isn't cured beforehand and keeps a meatier texture that flakes better into the sauce. However, in a pinch though, lox would work well too.
Some other recipes using smoked salmon
I love sauces that come together in the few minutes while the pasta is boiling, and that is exactly what penne alla salmone calls for. The cream sauce is relatively simple, butter, garlic, wine, and cream. I make just enough to coat the pasta but not too much to overpower the salmon, besides that's the point of the whole dish, right?
Feel free to use spaghetti, linguine, or any other pasta too. Penne is the most traditional for this dish but the sauce lends itself well to many other shapes of pasta.
Other pasta recipes to try
- 16 oz penne
- 4 cloves garlic, (minced)
- 3 tablespoon butter
- ½ cup dry white wine
- ½ cup heavy cream
- 8 oz hot smoked salmon, (or lox or leftover salmon)
- 1 lemon, (half juiced and wedges for serving)
- salt and fresh pepper, (to taste)
- parsley and lemon zest, (for serving)
- Bring a large pot of salted water to boil and add the penne and cook according to the package directions, usually about 8 minutes.
- While the pasta is boiling, heat a large pan under medium heat and melt the butter and sauté the garlic for about 30 seconds, or until fragrant. Then, add the white wine and season with salt and pepper. Let that cook for about 2-3 minutes until that wine has reduced by half.
- Next, add the heavy cream and flake in the smoked salmon. I like to leave some chunks bigger and to mash some up. Cook for additional 2-3 minutes, it's ok if the salmon falls apart.
- Once the pasta is done, save 1 cup of pasta water and drain the rest. Add the penne, pasta water, and lemon juice to the pan with the salmon and cook for another minute or two until the sauce thickens and coats the pasta.
- Serve with a sprinkle of sea salt, fresh pepper, lemon zest, and parsley.