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This salmon and leek pasta is super creamy, lemony and rice. It’s the ultimate comforting dish – perfect to serve with a crispy dry white wine. It’s also so quick and easy that you can whip it up on a busy weeknight, yet so indulgent that it’s great for a weekend treat.
For this salmon and leek pasta you’ll need:
- Skinless salmon fillets – you can also use skin-on fillets, just make sure to flake the salmon carefully so it comes away from the skin (and none of the skin is added to the pan)
- Farfalle (bow-tie) pasta – you can substitute for any other type of pasta you prefer such as spaghetti, rigatoni or penne
- Olive oil – ideally extra virgin
- Leek – cut off the leaves and use the paler part of the leek (which is less tough). Cut the stem in half and then slice thinly lengthways. More details and pictures below!
- Garlic – finely chopped
- Cream – single, whipping or cooking cream all work fine
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- 2 tsp capers
- Fresh parsley – roughly chopped – you can also substitute for basil if you prefer.
- Rocket leaves – the freshest looking ones you can find
How to make it
First, preheat the oven to 200C/400F. Pat the salmon dry with kitchen towel and drizzle olive oil over the salmon on both sides and season well. Place on a baking tray in the oven for 12 minutes (or until it flakes easily with a fork).
Boil the pasta in salted water for the time directed on the packet. Meanwhile make the sauce. Cook the leeks in olive oil over medium heat in a frying pan. Don’t let them go brown and reduce the heat if they are starting to darken on the edges. Add the garlic and cook for a further minute.
Add the cream, lemon juice and capers to the pan and season. Let it simmer for 3-4 minutes to reduce. Add a couple of tablespoons of pasta water per person to emulsify the sauce (which makes it super silky and helps it stick to the pasta).
Add the cooked and drained pasta to the pan and then flake the salmon and add that along with the rocket. Stir everything together and serve.
What goes well with it?
This recipe is great to serve as a full meal in itself. However, you can also add some bread to mop up all the lovely creamy sauce. For a lighter addition, a crisp green salad also goes well. Pairing this with a super crisp and dry white wine is also a great choice!
Can you freeze it?
This salmon and leek pasta will not freeze well. Firstly, freezing pasta can be a bit hit and miss. If you want to freeze pasta you need to be careful not to cook it all the way – you want it a little underdone so that when you reheat it it doesn’t overcook and become too soft. Secondly, creamy sauces aren’t great to cook. It may split on reheating which will make the texture grainy and unattractive. While it won’t hurt you it won’t be as good as fresh.
Leftovers can be kept in the fridge for up to 3 days and reheated on the hob or in a microwave (just beware that it might smell a little fishy!). Again, the texture might not be as great either.
How to prepare the leeks
For this recipe I cut the leeks julienne. This is a French cooking term that basically means cutting them in to thin long slices – almost like matchsticks.
To do this with leeks, cut them in half lengthways and then lay them cut side down on a chopping board. Cut them thinly with a super-sharp large knife until you have small sticks. If your leek is very long then you probably want to cut it into around 3-inch lengths pieces first.
Place the sliced leek into a large bowl of cold water and then scoop it out to let any pieces of grit or dirt to dislodge and sink to the bottom.
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Creamy, herby and lemony. This salmon and leek pasta is quick enough for a busy weeknight meal, yet indulgent enough for a weekend treat.
The default recipe serves one.
- 1 skinless salmon fillet (around 150g / 5oz)
- 85g / 3oz / 1 cup farfalle pasta
- 2 tsp olive oil
- 1/2 leek, pale part only (around 100g / 3.5oz) – sliced in half lengthways and then cut julienne
- 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
- 60ml / 1/4 cup single or whipping cream
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- 2 tsp capers
- few sprigs of fresh parsley, finely chopped
- small handful rocket leaves
- Preheat the oven to 300C / 400F. Pat the salmon dry with kitchen towel and then drizzle half the olive oil over both sides and season well – rub the oil and seasoning into the fillet. Place the salmon on a baking tray and place in the oven for 12 minutes. It’s done when it flakes easily with a fork.
- Bring a heavily salted pan of water to the boil and then boil the pasta according to the packet instructions.
- While the salmon and pasta are cooking heat the rest of the oil in a frying pan/skillet over medium heat. Add the leek and cook for around 6 minutes until softened. If it starts to go brown at the edges the reduce the heat a little.
- Add the garlic to the pan and cook for a further minute. Then add the cream, capers and lemon juice and season and bring to a simmer. Let it lightly bubble for 3-4 minutes to reduce. Add a couple of tablespoons of the pasta water per person before stirring in the parsley.
- When the pasta is cooked drain and add to the pan with the cream sauce. Flake the salmon and add to the pan along with the rocket and stir everything together. Serve immediately.
You can add some parmesan if you like. Just don’t tell any Italians you know (as all the ones I know would disown me for adding cheese to fish, despite the fact it’s so yum!)
You can use any type of pasta you like. Just make sure to follow the cooking instructions and plan accordingly if the cooking time is shorter
Don’t skip using the pasta water – it helps to emulsify the sauce and makes it unbelievably silky and helps it stick to the pasta
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 15 minutes
- Category: Dinner
- Method: Hob
- Cuisine: Pasta
- Serving Size: 1
- Calories: 900
- Fat: 44
- Carbohydrates: 77
- Protein: 51
Keywords: pasta, salmon, dinner, leek, creamy