Pasta alla salmone

Pasta alla Salmone is a delightful creamy fusion of the tender, buttery appeal of the salmon and delicious pasta, enriched with the magic of fresh basil.

This gorgeous combination of al dente pasta, succulent salmon, and a velvety sauce with fresh basil is a perfect blend of land and sea flavors that will certainly make an impression at your dinner table. The simplicity of the recipe does not take away from its taste, as it is so remarkable that it could easily be the highlight of your evening.

Join us in the kitchen and be ready to impress your loved ones with an unforgettable and extraordinary dinner masterpiece that will surely be calling for more.

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Pasta alla salmone – the blessed couple of the land and the sea

Salmon is gaining more and more popularity as an ingredient in Italian cuisine. Its versatility allows it to be smoked, grilled, baked, or become part of a pasta dish such as pasta alla salmone. As Italy is already known for its flavorful dishes, salmon is enhancing its reputation even further. It is forecasted that imports of salmon to Italy will total 57.68 million kilograms by 2026.

Yes, Italians are not crazy only about mushrooms, tiramisu, and focaccia; they are crazy about salmon, too.

full plate of freshly cooked pasta alla salmone

The pasta was widespread in Italy before the famous explorer Marco Polo brought the noodles back from China in the 13th century.

The tenderness of the salmon, combined with a creamy sauce and fresh basil together with a good pasta, is truly incredible. It goes together so perfectly that it melts in your mouth like magic and feels like having lunch in a dreamland.

Besides other Italian dishes like mini pizzetta, black pepper focaccia and delicious tagliatelle ai funghi, pasta alla salmone is definitely another shining rockstar in the Italian kitchen. If you want to make your pasta at home, check out our recipe for homemade green pasta.

beautiful photo of pasta with salmon and white sauce

Why you’ll love it

  • Because of its unforgettable taste. It’s a delightful blend of tastes and textures; the salmon’s natural sweetness and delicate aroma combined with a creamy sauce and the smell of fresh basil is a combination that you’ll remember for more.
  • Made with healthy, homemade pasta, it becomes a rich meal full of Omega-3 fatty acids.
  • It’s easy to prepare and takes less than an hour to make.
  • You can prepare the sauce beforehand and serve an extraordinary dinner whenever needed.

Ingredients you’ll need for pasta alla salmone

ingredients for pasta alla salmone: salmon, tagliatelle pasta, onion, cream, garlic, olive oil, black pepper, parmesan singles and white wine

PASTA – If possible, choose quality pasta with a high content of eggs. Eggs can significantly affect the texture and flavor of the pasta. Avoid pasta that contains added preservatives or artificial additives.

Basically, any kind of pasta you’ll buy will do the job, but if you really want it to taste more than perfect, take the time and make your own pasta instead.

SALMON FILLETS – Salmon fillets should look fresh, firm and of vibrant color. They should have no odor.

For the best nutrition and quality, opt for salmon labeled with its origin. Some parts of the world, for example Alaska and Norway, are famous for their excellent salmon. Select salmon endorsed by a well-respected seafood sustainability body, which usually guarantees that the fish is obtained responsibly.

You can make pasta alla salmone with smoked, canned, or fresh wild salmon. Fresh wild salmon filets can give a tastier result for pasta dishes, while smoked and canned salmon works better for a pasta salad.

FRESH BASIL – The addition of fresh basil will impart a unique depth and vibrancy to the dish. The flavor and aroma of the herb will blend harmoniously with the creamy sauce and salmon.

COOKING CREAM – We find adding heavy cream (with a high-fat content of around 36% or higher) works best for this sauce. However, if you are worried about the fat, you can alternatively use half-and-half cream with approximately 10-12% content fat.

GOOD MELTING CHEESE – The recipe called for Parmigiano Reggiano cheese singles due to their rapid melting ability. If desired, you can substitute the singles with something else and combine it with extra parmesan cheese when making the sauce.

OLIVE OIL – Adding cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil to a sauce can not only boost the taste of the meal but also supply essential monounsaturated fats and antioxidants. You will also use the oil to cook your salmon.

salmon fillets, spiced and sprinkled with dried rosemary

A SMALL ONION – Onions contribute to the sauce’s flavor and dimension, making it taste more pleasant and full-bodied. If you can get ahold of it, a shallot would be an even better choice than an onion.

GARLIC – Garlic is added to the creamy sauce to provide a pungent and aromatic flavor. We suggest using two to three cloves, as having too much garlic could overpower the flavor of the sauce and salmon.

WHITE WINE – A glass of white wine will add another note of flavor to the sauce.

SALT AND BLACK PEPPER Besides fresh basil this dish doesn’t call for any extra seasoning except salt and black pepper. A sprinkle of ROSEMARY on the salmon filets before baking will add some freshness and will combine well with the basil.

Pasta alla salmone easy recipe


STEP 1: Preheat the oven to 375 F (190,556 C).

STEP 2: Gently clean the salmon filets and dry them with a clean paper towel. Do not wash them. Cover with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and black pepper. Add a little bit of dried rosemary.

If you don’t want to use parchment paper, the best way to bake the salmon filets is to brush them with olive oil on the baking sheet and lay them down with the skin side facing downwards.

how to place the salmon fillets in the baking pan

STEP 3: Bake in the oven at 375 F (190 C) for 15-20 minutes.


STEP 4: While the salmon is in the oven, you can start making the sauce and boiling the pasta. Begin by mincing the onion and garlic into tiny pieces.

STEP 5: Fry them in hot olive oil on low heat, often stirring, until the onions and garlic become golden yellow, soft and translucent.

how to stir-fry the onions when making a sauce for pasta alla salmone

STEP 6: Add the cream and half cup of wine to the onions and garlic. Add a pinch of salt and freshly ground black pepper and cook for five to ten minutes until the alcohol has cooked off.

It’s best to simply taste the sauce to ensure that the alcohol has evaporated and that it has reached the desired flavor.

how to add cream to the onions for a pasta alla salmone sauce

STEP 7: Mix in the cheese and keep stirring until it is completely blended into the sauce. Cook for a further two to three minutes and set aside.

STEP 8: Once you have completed the sauce, mince a few fresh basil leaves before adding them to the sauce. Incorporating the basil as close to serving it will guarantee the best flavor.


STEP 9: Fill a large pot with salted water and bring it to a boil. Once the water is boiling, add the pasta and cook it according to the package instructions for 6 to 10 minutes.

Grab a piece of pasta with a fork and check to see if it is done. Be careful not to overcook it; it should only be cooked al dente.


STEP 10: Once the salmon filets are done cooking, remove them from the oven and break them apart with a fork. If you’d like, squeeze some lemon juice on them while they’re still hot for extra flavor.

baked salmon fillets for pasta alla salmone

STEP 11: Once the pasta is cooked, pour off the water and cover the dish to preserve the heat. It is recommended to eat the pasta straight after boiling. If the pasta is allowed to cool and drain, the starch molecules on the outside can absorb moisture, causing the pasta to clump together.

STEP 12: Place the pasta on the plates and generously spoon the sauce you combined with the chopped basil. Add slices of freshly baked salmon and garnish with basil leaves. Serve the delightful meal straight away while it’s still warm. Enjoy!

placing pasta and salmone with the sauce to the plate with basil decoration

Tips for a perfect pasta alla salmone

  • Wild salmon tastes incomparably better than farmed salmon. It has a better taste and texture and is packed with more nutrients. Quality salmon filets look pink and marbled. King salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha), Pacific salmon (Oncorhynchus nerka), silver salmon (Oncorhynchus kisutch) and pink salmon (Oncorhynchus gorbuscha) are regarded as the finest types of salmon.
  • Don’t wash the salmon with water; before baking, dry it with a paper towel.
  • Cook the salmon with the skin on; it’s easier to remove it when the salmon is cooked. At the same time, it will prevent the meat from getting burned on the bottom and help it retain more juice.
  • Add the salt and other seasoning to the filets right before baking.
  • Use fresh basil and add it to the sauce right before serving.
  • Pasta alla salmone tastes best with quality, fresh homemade pasta. Don’t overcook the pasta (al dente is enough); serve it right after it’s cooked.
full plate of freshly cooked pasta alla salmone

Storage and reheating

Although we don’t recommend reheating pasta, you can store the leftover pasta alla salmone in the refrigerator for up to a day or two, ensuring that it’s stored in an airtight container.

It’s best to serve pasta alla salmone with freshly cooked pasta, while you can prepare the sauce in advance.

Baked salmon (as well as the creamy sauce) can last in the fridge for up to three or four days. Add fresh basil to the hot sauce right before serving.

Although freezing pasta alla salmone is not recommended, cooked salmon and its sauce can be kept in the freezer for up to 4-5 months in a tightly sealed container or bag, as long as they are stored properly.

Keep in mind that the taste and quality of thawed salmon will not be equal to those of freshly cooked salmon.

Fresh salmon should be stored in the freezer for up to nine months. When ready to eat, it should be thawed in the refrigerator overnight for best results.

photo of a delicious meal with pasta alla salmone, with cream sauce and basil

Pasta alla salmone FAQs

Can I make pasta alla salmone with canned salmon?

Even if the dish is more nutritious when made with fresh salmon filets, you can still make a decent pasta alla salmone with canned salmon when you don’t have much time to cook.

Can I make pasta alla salmone with smoked salmon?

Pasta alla salmone can be made with a creamy sauce and smoked salmon as well. However, smoked salmon and pasta will taste better when prepared as a pasta salad with fresh vegetables.

Can I make pasta alla salmone with dried basil?

Dried basil contains a more delicate flavor than its fresh counterpart; it loses some of its intensity when it’s dried. It has a somewhat more earthy and sweeter taste, lacking the peppery and lively notes of fresh basil. It’s a great choice for recipes that require long cooking, allowing the flavors to combine and evolve. For pasta alla salmone recipe, fresh basil is a much better choice.

Can I use different types of pasta for pasta alla salmone?

Yes, you have the option to mix and match different types of pasta with pasta alla salmone – some of the most recommended types include tagliatelle, fettuccine, linguine, penne, farfale and rigatoni. Additionally, salmon also pairs well with a creamy sauce and fresh homemade gnocchi.

Can I substitute heavy cream with a lighter alternative for the sauce?

Yes, heavy cream in this recipe can be replaced by a much lighter half-and-half cream, sour cream, cashew cream or cream cheese.

Can I add vegetables to pasta alla salmone?

Yes, vegetables can be added to pasta alla salmone, but because the sauce is very quickly cooked, you will need to cook them separately. Vegetables that go well with salmon and pasta include peas, broccoli, zucchini, cherry tomatoes, spinach and… more fresh basil!

What side dishes go well with pasta alla salmone?

Pasta alla salmone is the tastiest when served with a fresh salad.

Which wine pairs well with pasta alla salmone?

Pasta alla salmone goes well with rose and white wines, including Pinot, Chardonnay, White Burgundy, Sauvignon Blanc and Champagne. You can use the same wine for preparing the creamy sauce.

Why it’s not good to wash salmon fillets?

When you rinse raw salmon filets with water, it can actually increase the chance of bacterial contamination. The potential bacteria on the surface of the fish can spread to other surfaces, like your kitchen sink, dishes, and countertops.

It is not necessary to clean the salmon prior to cooking. The high temperatures used during the cooking process will kill any bacteria that may be present. Washing the salmon can alter its taste and texture as it can remove some of its natural oils and flavors. Therefore, it is better to cook salmon without having to rinse it first.

Why is salmon meat pink?

Salmon’s hue of pink is derived from the naturally occurring pigment astaxanthin. This compound is absorbed through their diet, primarily from krill and shrimp. Astaxanthin is an antioxidant and helps keep the fish in good condition. The shade of pink may differ depending on the species, what they eat, and if they are wild caught or bred on a farm. Salmon raised in captivity tend to have a paler pink shade as a result of their diet.

Can you eat salmon skin?

Absolutely! Eating the skin of your salmon is not only safe, but it also adds a delicious crunch as well as extra flavor to the fish. Additionally, the skin contains beneficial fats that can help to make your lunch even more nutritious. When cooked correctly, the skin should be crisp and provide an enjoyable contrast to the succulent flesh of the salmon.

Why is salmon so expensive?

The cost of salmon can be largely explained by its surging popularity, the dwindling availability of wild-caught fish, the expense of aquaculture, and additional expenses related to transportation, processing, and handling. Higher-grade salmon sourced sustainably typically carries a greater price tag due to the extra care given to fish stocks.

Why don’t Italians put cheese on fish?

At the outset, cheese has the potential to overpower the subtle flavors of fish, thus diminishing its inherent flavor. Furthermore, combining cheese and fish is not a customary practice in Italian cuisine. Italians value bringing out the natural taste of the fish without adding anything extra; moreover, they stick to simple recipes that respect the ingredients. Therefore, when it comes to fish dishes, cheese is generally not used in order to maintain the focus on the fish’s taste.

Are there health benefits to eating wild salmon vs. farmed salmon?

Wild salmon is notable for its high omega-3 fatty acid and astaxanthin content, a powerful antioxidant. Additionally, it may contain a lower level of pollutants as well. On the other hand, farmed salmon provides a more reliable source of availability and is usually richer in vitamin D. The farming process also provides a more controlled environment with particular feeding habits. Ultimately, both varieties of salmon are highly nutritious, but the nutritional levels between wild and farmed salmon may differ.

Can you taste the difference between wild salmon and farmed salmon?

The flavor of wild salmon is typically stronger, with an earthy, salty taste. In contrast, farmed salmon is usually more delicate and buttery. The taste of farmed salmon may differ depending on the type of species, what it eats, and the environment in which it is raised.

More Mediterranean food

Tagliatelle ai funghi

Homemade green pasta

Mushroom rice with porcini

Black pepper focaccia

Mini pizzette

Pizza with porcini mushrooms

pasta alla salmone full plate
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Pasta alla salmone

Easy recipe for the tastiest, creamy pasta alla salmone.
Servings 4
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes


  • 0,66 lb pasta (300 g)
  • 1,1 lb salmon filets (500 g)
  • 1 small onion or shallot
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • handful fresh basil
  • 1 cup heavy cooking cream
  • 3/4 cup white wine (200 ml)
  • 3 or 4 parmesan cheese singles
  • 3 tsp olive oil (44 ml)
  • salt & black pepper
  • dried rosemary
  • 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice (optional) (14,8 ml)


  • Preheat the oven to 375 F (190,556 C) and gather your ingredients.
    ingredients for pasta alla salmone: tagliatelle, salmon, basil, olive oil, butter, salt, garlic, black pepper.
  • Gently dry the salmon filets with paper towel. Do not wash them. Cover with olive oil and sprinkle with a pinch of salt, black pepper, and dried rosemary.
  • Coat your baking sheet with olive oil and place the salmon filets skin-side down.
  • Bake in the oven at 375 F (190 C) for about 15-20 minutes.
  • In the meanwhile prepare the sauce. Dice the onion (or shallot) and garlic to pieces as small as possible. Fry them hot olive oil on low heat until the onions and the garlic turn golden yellow, soft and translucent.
  • Add the cream and wine, then season with a pinch of salt and pepper. Cook for around 5-10 minutes on low heat until the alcohol has dissipated. Taste to make sure everything is as it should be.
  • Add the cheese and let is fully fuse into the sauce. Stir frequently and cook for another two to three minutes. Set aside.
  • Prepare some freshly chopped basil which will be added to the sauce shortly before it is served.
  • Fill a cooking pot with water and bring to a boil. Once the water is boiling add pasta and cook for 6 to 10 minutes, depending on the instructions on the package. Test a piece of pasta with a fork to make sure it's cooked al dente.
  • Remove the cooked salmon fillets from the oven and using a fork, break them into small pieces. If desired, squeeze a few drops of lemon juice over them while they are still warm.
  • Once the pasta is done cooking, strain the liquid. Place the pasta on the plates and top with very hot sauce, containing freshly chopped basil that you've added to the saucepan right before serving. Serve the salmon pieces on top, decorated with few basil leaves.
  • Enjoy!



  • Opt for fresh salmon filets for maximum flavor and health benefits. Wild salmon is the ideal choice for a delicious pasta alla salmone.
  • If possible, use cold-pressed organic olive oil
  • Before cooking, dry the filets with a paper towel. Avoid washing them. 
  • Sprinkle the salt, black pepper and dry rosemary on the filets right before cooking
  • Cook the salmon with the skin; the skin should be placed on the bottom.
  • Dice the onion and garlic into pieces as small as possible and fry on low heat
  • Don’t overboil the pasta; it’s best when cooked al dente
  • Add fresh basil to the sauce right before serving. 
  • Don’t freeze the pasta; preparing only the sauce in advance is best. Serve with fresh-cooked salmon, pasta and fresh basil. 
Author: Food nutters
Calories: 600kcal
Cost: $15
Course: dinner, Lunch, Pasta
Cuisine: Italian, worldwide
Keyword: creamy, pasta, salmon


Serving: 345g | Calories: 600kcal | Carbohydrates: 18.3g | Protein: 45.3g | Fat: 33.9g | Saturated Fat: 18.1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3.37g | Monounsaturated Fat: 10.66g | Trans Fat: 0.05g | Cholesterol: 170mg | Sodium: 723mg | Potassium: 630mg | Fiber: 1.1g | Sugar: 5.7g | Vitamin A: 1682IU | Vitamin C: 36mg | Calcium: 490mg | Iron: 2mg

Did you make this? Please rate the recipe in the comments below.

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  1. 5 stars
    Love Salmon, and will eat it daily if I could. Pinned it
    I visited you via Saturday Sparks Link Party 573
    My entries this week = 41+42. If you have not joined us at SSPS yet, come and share your posts with us and you can be our next featured post.
    We’re open Monday through Saturday every week.
    You will find the linkup information (1) In the Top bar under Blogging: Weekly Senior Salon Pit Stop OR 2nd image In the sidebar.
    We hope to meet you there virtually.

    1. Thanks Esme, see you there 🙂

  2. 5 stars
    Thank you for sharing this at Blog & Inspire FB Group as well as at SSPS.

    1. It’s always a pleasure Esme 🙂

  3. This looks like a fresh, summer dinner!! Thanks for sharing at the What’s for Dinner party – have a wonderful week!

    1. Thank you Helen, I hope you will try it. See you soon 🙂

  4. This sounds lovely! Visiting from Inspire Me Monday.

  5. 5 stars
    This is a great way to eat healthy salmon. I am pinning and making it this week. Thanks for sharing your recipe!

    1. 5 stars
      How nice it is to hear that, give it a try, you won’t be sorry.

  6. 5 stars
    I love one dish meals and this one is very appealing. Pinned to try.

    1. 5 stars
      Thanks Carol, it’s taste is absolutely worth giving it a try:)

  7. 5 stars
    Mariama, wow this sounds fantastic. I’ve had salmon before but I’ve got to say this sounds so yummy.
    Visiting today from SSPS 270 #69&70

    1. Thanks Paula, I hope you’ll give it a try 🙂

  8. 5 stars
    We’ve been trying to eat more salmon so I can’t wait to try this!

    1. I hope you’ll like it 🙂

  9. 5 stars
    Ps: Thanks bunches for sharing this recipe with Sweet Tea & Friends this month.

    1. My pleasure Paula 🙂

  10. 5 stars
    This sounds delicious Mariama, we love salmon here. I never thought to pair it with pasta though, whole other level. Thank you for sharing with Whimsy Home Wednesday.

  11. 5 stars
    We love pasta and this dish looks fabulous! Thank you formsharing!

    1. Thanks Pam, I hope you’ll love it 🙂

  12. 5 stars
    This looks and sounds delicious! I was just wondering how I should cook the salmon in my freezer – I’m definitely going to try this :o)

    You have a great blog – thank you for sharing so many amazing recipes!

    1. Thanks Catherine, I’m very glad to hear that and I know you’ll love it. Bon apetite!

5 from 12 votes

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