Italian Pasta Recipes


It’s and old Italian classic, very popular as a quick fix when you have friends around unexpectedly and you want to feed them.

It’s a very simple dish, packed with flavour (if you like smoked salmon of course) and very easy to make.

There are a few versions of the recipe; some people like to add some halved cherry tomatoes into the sauce, at the very end, and others like to garnish the dish with different herbs.

I personally like the minimalist version of the recipe, without tomatoes, and the only herb I use is parsley.

A little word of advice; this is a dish to be served quickly, when it is still piping hot, because the sauce has the tendency to dry quickly because of the cream.



  • 14 ounces Smooth pennette pasta (smooth quill pasta)
  • 1 1/2 ounces Butter
  • Half onion (pureed)
  • 4 ounces Smoked salmon trimmings
  • 7 tablespoons (just a bit more than 3/8 cup) Vodka
  • 17 tablespoons (just a bit more than 1 cup) Single cream
  • A bunch of flat leaf parsley (finely chopped)
  • Freshly ground black pepper (optional)

Nutrition facts: Calories 650 per serving.



Roughly chop the onion and put it in the food processor.

Process the onion, to make it like a purée.

Finely chop the parsley.

In a sauce pan, melt all the butter and then add the pureed onion.

Sweat the onion off for a few minutes on gentle heat (3-4 minutes will be enough).

Add the salmon trimming to the pan and raise the heat from gentle to medium.

Break the salmon trimmings down with the wooden spoon and cook the salmon for a couple of minutes (keep stirring).

Add the vodka to the pan.

Give it a quick stir.

You can either keep stirring until the vodka vapours have vanished (2-3 minutes).

Reverse to low heat and add some ground pepper if you like.

Then, add the all cream.

Simmer for a few minutes to reduce the sauce.

This stage will take roughly 10 minutes, giving you the time to boil the pasta. 

If the pasta is not ready and you notice that the sauce is reducing/drying too much, you can add half a ladle of the water you are using to boil the pasta, to loosen the sauce a bit, and continue simmering until the pasta is ready.

Alternatively, you can remove the sauce from the heat and cover with a lid.

When the pasta is ready, loosen the sauce with half a ladle of the water you used to boil the pasta and then coat the pasta with the sauce.

Remember to cook the pasta al dente (firm to the bite).

When the pasta is ready, the sauce is reduced to the right consistency.

Quickly add half of the parsley to the sauce.

Stir for few seconds.

Finally, quickly drain the pasta (leaving the pasta slightly wet) and add the drained pasta into the sauce pan.

Stir to make sure that all the pasta is coated with the sauce.

When serving the pasta, you can garnish with a bit of extra parsley.





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