Farfalle with Fresh Salmon

Farfalle with Fresh Salmon Recipe

Though salmon isn’t a native Italian fish, and one rarely sees it on restaurant menus, its rich flavor makes for a great pasta sauce. This straightforward farfalle recipe brings out its flavor. If salmon were popular in Italy, this is probably how it would be prepared.–Giuliano Hazan

LC Slippery Salmon Skin Note

To rid the skin from a salmon fillet, you can ask your fishmonger to do it. But sometimes they forget–or pretend not to hear you. If this happens to you, grab a paper towel in one hand and a sharp chef’s knife in the other. Place the fillet, skin side down, on a work surface. Grasp one edge in one hand, using the paper towel to provide traction between your fingers and the slippery skin. In your other hand, grasp the knife and make a gash in the fillet about 1/4 inch from the edge of the fillet. The gash should cut through flesh and go almost but not quite all the way through the skin. Scooch the knife blade between the flesh and the skin, angling it about 45 degrees, and slide the blade along the length of the fillet, pressing gently. The fish should fall away in a neat, skinless fillet.

Farfalle with Fresh Salmon Recipe

  • Quick Glance
  • 15 M
  • 25 M
  • Serves 4


  • 1 3/4 pounds fresh tomatoes
  • 1 medium clove garlic
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon hot red pepper flakes
  • Salt
  • 1/2 pound salmon fillet, skinned
  • 1 pound farfalle (penne or fusilli are also good)
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 6 to 8 basil leaves


  • 1. Fill a pot for the farfalle with about 6 quarts of water, place over high heat, and bring to a boil.
  • 2. Peel and coarsely chop the tomatoes. Peel and finely chop the garlic. Put the olive oil in a 12-inch skillet, add the garlic and red pepper flakes, and place over medium-high heat. Saute until the garlic is sizzling. Add the tomatoes, season with salt, and cook until the tomatoes release their liquid and it has evaporated, 10 to 12 minutes.
  • 3. While the tomatoes are cooking, cut the salmon into strips about 1/4 inch thick and 1 1/2 inches long.
  • 4. When the tomato liquid has evaporated, add about 2 tablespoons salt to the boiling pasta water and then add the farfalle. Stir well and cook until al dente.
  • 5. While the farfalle is cooking, add the salmon to the pan with the tomatoes, season with salt, and add the cream. Coarsely chop the basil and add it to the pan. Cook until the cream has thickened and reduced by about one third, 2 to 3 minutes.
  • 6. When the farfalle is done, drain well, toss it with the salmon sauce, and serve at once.
Hungry for more? Chow down on these:

Hey, there. Just a reminder that all our content is copyright protected. Like a photo? Please don't use it without our written permission. Like a recipe? Kindly contact the publisher listed above for permission before you post it (that's what we did) and rewrite it in your own words. That's the law, kids. And don't forget to link back to this page, where you found it. Thanks!

Recipe Testers Reviews

Recipe Testers Reviews
Testers Choice
Jill Mulcahy

Sep 28, 2009

This is a very straightforward pasta recipe that was easy to prepare and ready in under 30 minutes, just as stated in the cookbook title. Even with the cream, the sauce was light and delicious. Adding the salmon imparted a wonderful flavor and also boosted the nutritional value of the dish.

Testers Choice
Susan Jacobsen

Sep 28, 2009

This dish was a hit with the whole family. There was a nice balance of flavors between the sweetness of the salmon, tomato, and creamy sauce. The sauce coated the pasta beautifully, I used farfalle, but I think if you were to use a penne, or another hollow pasta, you might want a smidge more sauce.

Testers Choice
Maria Peplowski

Sep 28, 2009

Amazing pasta dish–lots of flavour, not too rich. easy to make. I made this with fresh wild-caught Alaska salmon (the best IMHO) and fresh summer tomatoes. When there are so few ingredients I think this recipe benefits from using the freshest and the best. Will definitely make this again.

  1. David Leite says:

    We made this last night, and it was wonderful. What we liked most about it was that the sauce wasn’t heavy, and there was just enough to coat the pasta— there wasn’t so much that it was swimming in it. It was great to use some of the last few tomatoes from the garden.

  2. Vanessa says:

    I made this dish last night and it was outstanding- the tomato was a great addition that I would not have thought to add. I used leftover flaked salmon from a dinner party a few nights ago instead of the sliced pieces- either way it was terrific!

  3. Tracy Griggs says:

    I am making this with shallots, basil pesto, and good quality canned whole tomatoes and half and half for cream. I also upped the garlic and hot pepper flakes – it is winter and it what I have in the pantry and frig – I also added a ladleful of pasta water to help thicken the sauce – a good trick to use with most pasta sauces.

Have something to say?

Then tell us. Have a picture you'd like to add to your comment? Send it along. Covet one of those spiffy pictures of yourself to go along with your comment? Get a free Gravatar. And as always, please take a gander at our comment policy before posting.


Daily Subscription

Enter your email address and get all of our updates sent to your inbox the moment they're posted. Be the first on your block to be in the know.

Preview daily e-mail

Weekly Subscription

Hate tons of emails? Do you prefer info delivered in a neat, easy-to-digest (pun intended) form? Then enter your email address for our weekly newsletter.

Preview weekly e-mail