Salmon with Bow Ties and Peas

I love salmon and I love pasta, so it was a given that I would be making this recipe once I saw it in Good Housekeeping magazine.  It has been a family favorite for close to 20 years now.  Obviously, you know that I think the meal is delicious; but, in addition, it is fairly fast and easy to make.  It meets my definition of a work-night-friendly meal as I can get it to the table in about 30 minutes.

My local supermarket periodically has a sale on restaurant cut salmon fillets.  It makes this dish even easier to prepare because all of the pieces of salmon are fairly uniform, and there is no skin to remove.  Whenever the sale appears is my cue to make this delicious salmon and pasta dish.

If you are not familiar with farfalle (Italian for “butterfly”), you should try some for a change in pace in pasta.  The farfalle does indeed look like a butterfly or bow tie, and the knot in the middle is delightfully al dente when cooked properly.  If you can’t find farfalle, rotini works as well.  You want a pasta with some nooks and crannies to catch some of the flavorful sauce.

I know I’ve posted a lot of desserts lately, and my niece especially requested some appetizer and dinner recipes.  So, Alex, here you go—I hope you give this a try!

I made this bowl in ceramics 40 years ago. It's held many a pasta dish!

Salmon with Bow Ties and Peas

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  • 1 pkg. (16 oz.) bow-tie (farfalle) or corkscrew (rotini) pasta
  • 2 1/2 tbl. freshly squeezed lemon juice (you’ll most likely need 2 lemons)
  • 3 tbl. butter
  • 2 large shallots, thinly sliced (approx. 1/2 cup)
  • 1 lb. salmon fillet, cut into 1″ chunks (buy restaurant cuts for uniform thickness)
  • 1/8 to 1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 3/4 to 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 pkg. (10 oz.) frozen peas, cooked separately (do not overcook)
  • 1 tbl. fresh dill or parsley, chopped
  • Fresh dill sprigs for garnish, optional


1.  Heat large pot of salted water to boiling over high heat.  Add pasta and cook as label directs.  Note that you will need to reserve some pasta water before draining all of it. While pasta is cooking, proceed with next two steps.

2.  Squeeze 2 1/2 tbl. juice from lemon(s); set aside.

3.  In nonstick 12″ skillet, melt butter over medium heat.  Add shallots and cook 2 minutes or until tender-crisp, stirring occasionally.  Increase heat to medium-high.  Add salmon, pepper, and salt.  Cook 5 minutes or until salmon turns opaque throughout, gently stirring occasionally.  Try to keep pieces of salmon intact.

4.  When pasta has cooked to desired doneness, drain but reserve a cup or so of the pasta water.  Place drained pasta in large serving bowl.

5.  Add approximately 1/3 cup pasta cooking water to salmon mixture, stirring gently to combine.  Add peas to salmon mixture along with chopped dill (or parsley), and lemon juice; toss gently to combine.  Pour over pasta in serving bowl, gently tossing to mix.

Makes 4 to 6 servings.

Source: Recipe from a very old Good Housekeeping magazine

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