Pasta with Smoked Salmon and Cream Cheese

This light and lovely recipe was inspired by Canadian celebrity chef Michael Smith whom I recall watching make something similar on TV years ago. Quick and easy to prepare, it only takes a moderate amount of smoked salmon to make this delicious pasta dish that never fails to impress. As with many culinary endeavours, the better the quality of the salmon, the more flavourful your dish will be, although I’ve used those frozen packages from the supermarket with good results! This dish is fabulous with a garden salad and a glass or two of cold white wine.

Adding cream cheese and lemon to hot cooked pasta makes for an easy sauce that  complements the smoked salmon beautifully.

Adding cream cheese and lemon to hot cooked pasta makes for an easy sauce that complements the smoked salmon beautifully.

Ingredients

1 pound (454 grams) uncooked penne or other large pasta
1 tablespoon salt
1 cup room-temperature cream cheese, cut into 8 – 10 pieces
1 lemon, juiced and zested
2 teaspoons Dijon
8 ounces (225 grams) smoked salmon in 1/2 “ slices
1 bunch fresh dill, stems removed, chopped
2 tablespoons capers, drained
4 green onions (green parts only) or a handful of chives, sliced
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
lemon wedges

Method

  • Bring a large pot of water to the boil; add the salt while it heats up. This will season the pasta while it cooks.
  • Add pasta and cook, uncovered, just until the pasta is cooked through but still chewy.  Stir it occasionally while it cooks.
  • Scoop out ½ cup of the starchy cooking water then drain the pasta but not completely, leaving it  a bit wet.
  • While pasta cooks, combine the lemon juice and zest with the Dijon and set aside.
  • Immediately return the pasta to the cooking pot along with half of the reserved starchy water. Add  the cream cheese and lemon juice mixture to the pasta, stirring gently to combine so that the hot pasta melts the cream cheese.
  • Add more of the reserved cooking water as needed to ensure the creamy sauce coats the pasta well.
  • Add the salmon, dill, capers and green onions or chives, stirring very gently to combine.
  • Season to taste with pepper and serve immediately with lemon wedges on the side.

Serves 4. Reheats beautifully with a little added milk, cream or water.

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About Paula Roy

Welcome to my kitchen! I play with words and with food. I love simple dishes prepared with passion and am always seeking to find new methods to make food as fun and flavourful as possible. I'm also an enthusiastic explorer of faraway lands and cuisines.
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5 Responses to Pasta with Smoked Salmon and Cream Cheese

  1. Lisa Smith says:

    made it for supper tonight…delicious!

  2. Heather Watt says:

    This was delicious Paula!! I am making it again for a lunch party and was wondering what your tips were for reheating it. I might make most of it in advance and perhaps add the salmon after reheating the pasta and sauce?? Thanks for the great recipe!

    • Paula Roy says:

      Hi Heather – so glad you enjoyed it! While you can add a little cream to the dish and microwave to warm, it’s not nearly as good as the first time. For a better reheating strategy, I’d cook the pasta only part way (so it’s about 75% cooked) then drain, put in a zip lock bag and chill it until serving time. The rest of the ingredients can be prepped and waiting in the fridge. Just before serving, put the pasta back into a pot of boiling water and cook for just a couple of minutes until it is fully cooked (but still al dente) and really hot. Then proceed to assemble the dish per the recipe. Good luck! xo

  3. Pingback: Paula Roy’s Favourite Foods – Episode 15 recipes | Constantly Cooking

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