Easy to make fusilli pasta with salmon served in a silky smooth parmesan sauce with lemon, mustard and caraway infused salmon fillets. Make this salmon pasta recipe in under 30 minutes and enjoy a nutritious and full flavoured fish dish any night of the week.
Start by cooking the pasta according to the instructions (usually 8-10 minutes in boiling water).
Next preheat the oven to 180°C (360°F). Lay the salmon fillets side by side in the centre of a piece of foil and sprinkle over the caraway seeds.
Wrap the foil loosely around the salmon leaving enough room for air to circulate around whilst cooking. This will cook the salmon more evenly. Place the foil package on a tray and bake in the oven for 15 minutes.
Whilst the fish is cooking, start to prepare the sauce. On a medium heat gently fry the chopped garlic in 1 tablespoon of oil for around 30 seconds to just allow the flavour to release (don't fry for too long as garlic burns easily and creates a bitter taste).
Next, add 100ml of white wine to the garlic. Keep the pan on a medium heat and simmer for a minute or so to allow the wine to reduce by half.
Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the creme fraiche, parmesan, dijon mustard, juice from half a lemon and a pinch of salt and pepper. Stir until well combined and smooth.
When the salmon is ready, return the parmesan sauce to a medium heat. Flake the salmon and add to the parmesan sauce.
Drain the fusilli pasta (retaining the water) and stir into the sauce along with the flaked salmon. If the sauce has reduced too much or become too thick, add in a 1 or 2 ladles of the pasta water to help loosen and thin.
Serve the salmon pasta and top with freshly chopped parsley and lemon zest.
Fish: If you prefer to not cook the salmon from raw then you can use pre-cooked or hot smoked salmon. If you really struggle to get hold of salmon then trout is good alternative.Pasta: This recipe uses fusilli but you could also try with other short pastas such as penne or macaroni. Salmon pasta recipes also work really well with longer pasta like in this salmon and prawn linguine recipe.White wine: White wine adds a wonderful crisp flavour to the parmesan sauce, which is created as the alcohol evaporates and the wine flavour is concentrated. Try to use a good quality dry white wine such as sauvignon blanc or pinot grigio. Find out more about: cooking with wine here. If you would prefer to leave out the wine you can substitute with apple cider vinegar, white wine vinegar, apple juice, chicken stock, grape juice or just plain water.Creme Fraiche: I prefer to use creme fraiche rather than cream as it is lighter and its slight sour flavour helps to cut through the richness of the sauce. Creme fraiche is also less likely to curdle and so produces a silky smooth sauce.Parmesan: Any hard cheese will work here if you can't get hold of parmesan. Try with pecorino or mature cheddar.Caraway seeds: Completely optional. The caraway provides a citrusy flavour and has a slight hint of anise, which pairs amazingly with the salmon. If you prefer to not use caraway, just season with salt and pepper and maybe a bit of powdered garlic. Alternatively season with dried dill.Skin on the fish: Leave this on during cooking as it will add to the flavour and is easier to remove once the fish is cooked. Once the fish is cooked I tend to find that the skin sticks to the foil so I can flake the fish and tip it out with all its juices and leave the skin behind.Preparing in advance or freezing: This dish is best cooked fresh so that there is no need to reheat any fish or pasta. Freezing and/or reheating can cause the fish to become dry and the pasta to become limp.Expert tips:
Once the fusilli pasta has been removed from its cooking pan, set the water to one side until the dish is nearly cooked. At this point check the sauce and add more of the starchy pasta water if necessary (a ladle at a time). This water will mix with the creme fraiche to create a lovely light sauce which clings to the pasta. The water can be added at any point to help loosen up the sauce and stop it from drying up.
If the pasta is cooked before you are ready to mix into the sauce then drain the pasta into a sieve (retaining the water). Then run the pasta under cold water to stop the cooking process and to help keep it al dente.