Smoked Salmon Pasta in Garlic Cream Sauce

May 25, 2015 • Alaska Eats, Main Dishes, Recipes, Seasons, Spring, Summer

Weather: 45 degrees
What I’m listening to: birds chirping, waves lapping

I’m sitting on a chair in the early morning by the picture windows in dining room, facing the back deck, taking in the views – the muted waters of Cook Inlet, and quiet, snow-capped peak of Mount Redoubt rising above the jagged range. My coffee and iPhone are perched on the window sill, reflecting back at me in the fine layer of sea salt that coats the outside of the glass. It won’t be long now before the salmon are running in those waters just beyond the deck, hopping and skipping with the tide. We call them jumpers and when we see them, we hop and skip too, because then we know the fish are lively and plentiful and ready. It’s almost fishing season.


While I never tire of waking up to a toasted everything bagel slathered with cream cheese and topped with smoked wild Alaska salmon and green onions with a generous squeeze of lemon, I also enjoy smoked salmon as the star protein at dinnertime. Fat Ptarmigan restaurant in Anchorage carries a smoked salmon pizza that is really well done. And down in San Diego, right along the water in Point Loma, Pizza Nova makes a delectable signature pasta featuring smoked salmon, capers, tomatoes, and green onions in a subtle cream sauce. I’ve attempted to pay homage to that dish here with my own version.

Smoked Salmon Pasta in Garlic Cream Sauce

Fettuccine in a garlic cream sauce topped with smoked salmon, green onions, tomatoes, and capers. Finished with lemon zest and shaved parmesan cheese. Inspired by the restaurant Pizza Nova in San Diego, California.

Yields: 2-3 servings

  • 8 ounces fettuccine noodles
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 1/2 cups half and half cream
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 8 ounces smoked salmon, flaked
  • 2/3 cup green onions, sliced on the bias
  • 2 tomatoes, seeded and chopped
  • 2 tablespoons capers, rinsed and drained
  • shaved parmesan cheese
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon zest
  • sea salt and pepper to taste

Put a pot of water to boil over high heat. Salt generously. Cook fettuccine al dente according to the package directions. Drain.

While the pasta is cooking, melt the butter in a saute pan over medium heat. Add the garlic and stir until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the cream, reduce heat to medium low, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Simmer and reduce, stirring often, while the pasta is cooking.

When the pasta is drained, toss it with the garlic cream sauce. Distribute the fettuccine evenly in pasta bowls. Top each bowl of pasta with generous amounts of smoked salmon, green onions, and tomatoes. Finish with capers, parmesan cheese and lemon zest on each. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve promptly.