Salmon is one of my favorite fish because of its mild flavor and versatility. If you are anything like me, I love to grill salmon all summer long, but some nights I like to change it up. This Salmon Pasta in Lemon Cream recipe is easy to prepare in minutes, which makes it perfect for weeknights.
King Salmon is usually what I use during the summer months, but when summer ends, I use Coho or Sockeye Salmon because you can buy frozen-defrosted fillets all year long. To create the lemon cream sauce, I infuse cream with a dash of red pepper flakes and the zest of one lemon, that’s it….pretty simple.
The light flavors in this dish make it nice on a warm summer evening, but also very comforting during the cooler months of the year. You can use any type of pasta in the recipe, but brown rice pasta seems to pair nicely with the zucchini and salmon and it’s gluten-free.
8-12 ounces of fresh salmon
12 ounces brown rice pasta
1/2 red onion
2 cloves garlic
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 lemon, zest & wedges
1/3 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons parmesan cheese
1 cup pea shoots, arugula or spinach, optional
1. Prepare the pasta according to the package instructions, except if using brown rice pasta, cut the time down by 1 minute to leave the brown rice pasta slightly more al dente. Drain the pasta, reserving 1/2 cup pasta water.
2. Remove any skin from the salmon and dice into large chunks, about 1 inch thick.
3. Dice the zucchini and onion and mince the garlic finely.
4. Zest the lemon and cut into wedges. Reserve both the zest and wedges for later.
5. In a pan, drizzle in 3 tablespoons olive oil. Place the pan over medium heat and add the onion. Saute the onion for 4 minutes. Then, add 1/2 teaspoon of salt to the onions and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper.
6. Next, add the salmon, zucchini and garlic. Do not stir right away, so the ingredients sear slightly in the bottom of the pan, about 2 minutes. Then, stir to cook the other sides of the salmon and veggies, but be careful not to tear the salmon into little pieces, about 4 minutes.
7. Next, add the red pepper flakes and lemon zest and gently stir to combine.
8. Pour the cream over the salmon and vegetables and let it cook down for 2 minutes.
9. Sprinkle the parmesan cheese into the cream mixture and stir, continue cooking for 1 minute. The sauce should be slightly thickened and reduced.
10. Next, add 1/4 cup of the reserved pasta water to the sauce and stir to combine. Cook for 1 minute to allow the water to reduce. If the sauce is too thick for your liking, add a tablespoon of more water.
11. Then, add the pasta to the pan and turn off the heat. Toss to combine the ingredients and add more salt or pepper if necessary.
12. To serve, spoon the pasta into bowls and top with fresh pea shoots and a squeeze of fresh lemon. Enjoy!