This salmon pasta with crème fraîche is a simple recipe that you can easily whip up as a weeknight dinner! You will need 10 ingredients and it takes no time to get this on the dinner table.
This simple pasta dish is served with a creamy sauce made of crème fraîche, parmesan and lemon juice! I’ve used smoked salmon in this pasta recipe as then you don’t have to cook the salmon, a shortcut that I like to use!
Why you’ll love this recipe!
- You only need 10 simple ingredients and no fancy equipment needed.
- We make the pasta and the sauce in the same pot, so less dishes and clean up.
- I’m using smoked salmon in this salmon pasta recipe, so you don’t need to cook any salmon fillets.
- You can make this in 15 minutes so it’s perfect for a weeknight dinner.
- Pasta: use whatever pasta shape you like! You can use fresh or dried pasta. I used fresh pasta because it cooks much faster and I prefer the texture!
- Smoked Salmon: I’m using smoked salmon as I prefer the taste and you don’t have to cook it beforehand! Want to use salmon fillets? I love this air fryer salmon recipe, you can use that recipe and then slice up the cooked salmon and add to the finished dish.
- Lemon: I use fresh lemon juice and lemon zest to brighten up the pasta sauce.
- Parmesan: I recommend grating a block of parmesan for this recipe!
- Shallots: feel free to use a white or yellow onion if that’s all you have on hand.
- Garlic: I minced garlic cloves but in a pinch you can use garlic powder.
- Crème Fraîche: if you don’t have any crème fraîche on hand you can use natural full-fat yogurt or sour cream.
Step by Step Instructions
Step 1: Cook your pasta according to the package instructions. Scoop out ½ cup of pasta water and set aside. Drain your pasta and leave in a colander.
Step 2: Take the saucepan that you used to cook the pasta and melt the butter over medium-low heat. Add the minced shallots and garlic, stirring occasionally, until they turn a light golden brown.
Step 3: Add the crème fraîche and stir until it begins to simmer. Simmer for 2 minutes. Add in the grated parmesan cheese, the pieces of smoked salmon, lemon juice and lemon zest. If the sauce seems too thick add some of the reserved pasta water. Simmer for 1 minute. Taste and adjust seasonings, adding salt and pepper if needed.
Step 4: Turn the heat off and add the cooked pasta into the saucepan and use a wooden spoon or tongs to cover the pasta in the sauce. Add chopped parsley if you wish and serve!
Cooking Tips & Tricks
- Make sure to salt your water before adding the pasta. Adding salt to the water will allow the pasta to absorb that flavor!
- Don’t overcook the pasta! It can be easy to do that especially with fresh pasta which only needs a few minutes.
- Keep some of the pasta water before you drain the pasta, you can add a tablespoon at a time to the sauce if it too thick.
- Make sure you taste and adjust the seasoning before you serve!
Frequently Asked Questions
If you don’t have any crème fraîche on hand you can use natural yogurt or sour cream instead!
I used chopped parsley in this dish, but you could also use dill, basil or tarragon.
Yes! In the last few minutes of cooking the pasta you can add frozen peas or some chopped broccoli florets.
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Salmon Pasta with Crème Fraîche
- 1 lb fresh pasta
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 3 shallots finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- ½ cup crème fraîche
- 1 lemon zest and juice
- ½ cup grated parmesan cheese
- ½ lb smoked salmon cut into thin strips
- salt to taste
- ground black pepper to taste
- parsley chopped
- Boil pasta according to package instructions. Make sure to salt pasta water before starting! Drain the pasta (keeping ½ cup of pasta water to the side) once finished cooking and leave in the colander.
- Return saucepan to stove and over medium-low heat, melt the butter. Once melted, add the chopped shallots and garlic. Stir over medium-low heat until both the garlic and shallots have turned a light golden brown color.
- Pour in crème fraîche and stir until it begins to simmer, let simmer for 2 minutes. Add in the parmesan cheese, lemon zest and lemon juice. Add pasta water if the sauce gets too thick. Taste and add a pinch of salt and ground black pepper.
- Add in the strips of salmon and stir to combine, simmering for another minute. Turn off the heat.
- Pour the cooked pasta back in the pan and stir to coat the pasta evenly. Taste and adjust seasonings, you may need to add more salt and pepper. Add in chopped parsley if desired or another herb. Feel free to top the pasta with extra parmesan or lemon zest.
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