You know how you have THAT favorite recipe that your mom makes? The one that you hope she makes every time you visit? For me, this is THAT recipe… her Salmon Pasta.
Totally decadent, but somehow you don’t feel guilty eating it because it has salmon, tomatoes, onion, garlic, capers, and olives. All completely delicious and manage to check a few things off the “I should be eating this list.”
Now that I’m older, I appreciate this recipe even more because I know that salmon and tomatoes are phenomenal for my skin. Sneaking those ingredients beyond grilled salmon or a salad with tomatoes is a welcomed addition to my weekly menu.
This recipe is also fantastic year-round. Light enough to enjoy in the summer, yet also rich and flavorful enough for any winter menu. Serve with a chilled rose in warmer seasons and a nice pinot noir when it’s chillier to heighten the seasonal pairing.
THE ORIGINS OF MOM’S SALMON PASTA
My mom is famous for her scratch-based cooking style. Heck, we didn’t have a single frozen casserole or dinner-in-a-box while growing up. (However, we did have a curious supply of Lean Cuisine boil-in-bag Chicken a L’Orange at times in the freezer.)
This Salmon Pasta recipe is something she perfected through the years. Likely due to a solid supply of fresh-caught salmon via my uncles who loved to fish in Northern California. We grew-up with our share of grilled salmon, but this dish is something I grew to crave even more as I got older.
It has the garlic-onion-olive oil base of so many delicious traditional pasta recipes. Then brings in coastal Mediterranean / Spanish inspiration with olives and capers. Add-in a touch of heavy cream and you eyes roll back in your head with rich delight.
Fresh salmon is ideal, you can also use thawed frozen fish for the recipe. I even tried it once with a high quality canned salmon and things ended up delicious; albeit with a stronger salmon taste.
A PERFECT RECIPE FOR PICKY KIDS AND FOODIE PARENTS
I get it… your kids may not dive into a bowl of salmon pasta. Yet, that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t be able to enjoy such a wonderful dinner.
There are a few options that will make this a complaint-free meal in your home:
- Give your kids simple pasta while you delight in the culinary goodness of the recipe.
- Separate some of the sauce for your kids prior to adding the salmon.
- Substitute cooked chicken chunks for the salmon.
- Vegetarian household? Great Northern white beans can be added instead of the salmon. Gives you protein without competing with the flavorful sauce.
- 1 white onion
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp unsalted butter
- 14.5 oz can fire-roasted diced tomatoes
- 1 cup chicken or vegetable stock
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- 1/2 cup white wine
- 1/3 cup capers
- 1/3 cup kalamata olives
- 2 cups fresh salmon, cut into 1” cubes
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 4 cups dried rotini pasta
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan
- Add olive oil and unsalted butter to a high-walled pan on medium heat
- Dice onion and add it to the pan
- Dice garlic and add it to the pan once the onion is translucent
- Add can of tomatoes, stock, lemon juice and white wine to the pan and reduce the liquid by about a third.
- Once reduced, add capers, olives and salmon.
- Stir for about two minutes until the salmon is cooked.
- Finish the sauce with heavy cream.
- Serve over cooked rotini pasta and top with Parmesan.
- Note – from a timing POV, I usually drop the dry pasta into boiling water right after adding the garlic to the pan.
Keywords: Salmon, Pasta, Tomatoes