Friday, February 3, 2017

Smoked salmon linguine with crème fraîche and lime

My first post of 2017 is coming a bit too late since we are already in February (!), but I will say this anyway. Happy New Year! Happy 2017! May it bring to you all that you hope and wish for, and more.

I’m not one to make New Year’s resolutions or make lists of things I want to accomplish or do in the new year, never have been. What I always want, however, is to continue to stay true and honest to myself, and be the best partner, daughter, friend, colleague, woman, human being that I can be.

Oh and a better cook, baker, sharer of food. Because food, my friends, is a major part of my life, in more ways than one. I may not have a lot of time to cook, but I fantasize about food all the time. It’s in my nature to do that. Imagine recipes and dishes, stage them in my mind, take a mental snap of them, feel their texture in my mouth and their flavor on my tongue. Food is and will always be a source of inspiration and creativity to me.

And so I begin the new year here on this little blog of mine with a recipe that I love and crave. A simple recipe. A recipe for pasta —linguine to be exact that I generally favor over simple spaghetti— with smoked salmon, crème fraîche and lime.

It’s a filling yet delicate dish with a nice balance of flavors. The creaminess and mild sweetness of the smoked salmon is counterbalanced by the floral acidity of the lime and the smooth tanginess of the crème fraîche, while the grassy brightness of the chives and the piquantness of the black pepper impart even more flavor to it.

Hope you enjoy!

Smoked salmon linguine with crème fraîche and lime

If you can’t find crème fraîche, use sour cream or fresh cream (full-fat). I wouldn’t substitute with yoghurt because it splits when added to hot dishes/sauces.

Yield: 2 generous portions for 2 hungry people

300 g dried linguine pasta
3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 small onion (about 50 g net weight), thinly sliced
1 large garlic clove, minced
125 g crème fraîche, full-fat (or sour cream or cream)
1½ Tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice
1 tsp finely grated lime zest
Freshly ground black pepper
Salt, to taste, but be careful because the salmon is adequately salty already
2 Tbsp finely chopped fresh chives
100 g smoked salmon, cut into thick strips

Special equipment: colander

Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil over high heat and add the linguine. Cook until al dente (firm but not very hard) or cook to your liking.

While the water is boiling and the pasta is cooking, prepare the sauce. You will need to add pasta water to it so keep that in mind.

In a wide sauté pan (one that will fit the pasta as well), add the olive oil and heat over medium heat. When it starts to shimmer, add the sliced onion and sauté until it softens, but don’t let it brown. A minute before it’s done, add the garlic and sauté for 1 minute, being careful not to burn it. Add the crème fraîche, the lime juice and zest, a little salt and black pepper and mix well. Turn heat down to low and add some of the water that the pasta is boiling in, stirring with a wooden spoon, in order to loosen the sauce (especially if you’re using crème fraîche because regular cream and sour cream are thinner) and to make it very smooth and creamy.

By now the linguine should be cooked. Using tongs, add the pasta to the sauté pan. You don’t need to strain the pasta because the pasta water is valuable and will help you adjust the consistency of the sauce, so it’s best if you add the pasta straight from the pot. Add half of the chives, a good sprinkling of black pepper and mix. Then add the salmon and mix gently with tongs so you don’t break the pasta or squash the salmon. Add more pasta water if needed, enough to achieve a creamy sauce. It should not be cloggy or clump together, but have a silky smooth consistency. Taste and add salt if needed. The salmon provides saltiness so most probably you won’t need it, but you never know.

Serve immediately in individual plates topped with more chives and another grinding of black pepper.


  1. Thanks for sharing Martha, this is such a delicious and refreshing dish! Have a very yummy and creative year! :)

    1. Thanks Eugenia. Have great year yourself!
      It's Magda, not Martha ;)

  2. Absolutely perfect, Magda! I use smoked salmon a lot with pasta - sometimes simple like yours, and sometimes I crave the more complicated flavors... Whichever I end up with, I am always so happy.

    I like your non-resolutions! Mine should be the opposite - to cook less and, more important, to eat less!

    1. When it comes to pasta dishes of any kind, I invariably go for simple rather than complicated. Pasta dishes should be simple! Thank you David!
      Eat less? Hmmm difficult when you create such beautiful, scrumptious dishes!

  3. Ooh this is definitely pasta perfection!