Creamy Salmon and Pea Cavatappi Recipe

Salmon is the star of the show in this simple and hearty pasta.
Photo by Farideh Sadeghin

Serves 4
Prep time: 20 minutes
Total time: 45 minutes


1 pound|450 grams boneless salmon fillets
1 teaspoon ground coriander
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
¼ cup|60 ml olive oil
8 ounces|225 grams cavatappi pasta
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 shallots, thinly sliced
1 head fennel, thinly sliced, fronds reserved
3 garlic cloves, minced
½ cup|125 ml white wine
8 ounces|225 grams cream cheese
1 cup|250 ml whole milk
1 cup|125 grams frozen peas, defrosted
1 lemon, zested and juiced


  1. Rinse the salmon fillets and pat them dry. Season the flesh of the salmon all over with the coriander, salt, and pepper.
  2. Heat half of the oil in a large saucepan over medium-high and cook the salmon, skin side-up, until cooked through, about 6 to 8 minutes. Transfer to a plate to cool slightly, then remove and discard the skin. Flake the salmon into bite-sized pieces and season with salt.
  3. Bring a large saucepan of generously salted water to a boil. Add the cavatappi and cook until al dente, 6 to 7 minutes, then drain, reserving ½ cup|125 ml of the cooking liquid.
  4. Wipe the saucepan clean and heat the remaining oil and butter over medium-high. Add the shallots and fennel and cook until slightly caramelized and golden, 7 to 8 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, 1 minute more. Add the wine and cook until it has almost completely reduced, about 2 minutes. Add the cream cheese and milk and stir until the cream cheese has melted, about 2 minutes. Stir in the flaked salmon, the pasta and its cooking liquid, and the peas. Zest in the lemon and squeeze in its juice, then season with salt and pepper. Finely chopped about ¼ cup of the reserved fennel fronds and stir them in. Divide among plates and garnish with more fennel fronds.

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