Pasta with Smoked Salmon & Peas in a Dill Cream Sauce

We had a good amount of crème fraîche leftover from the  Chicken and Artichoke Fricassée with Morel Mushrooms recipe, and as we were fairly new in cooking this particular ingredient, we were a bit stumped as to what to do with it.  As the expiration date loomed near, I started searching all over the internet to find out what types of recipes called for crème fraîche.  I found that crème fraîche is not only popular as a topping for fruit desserts, but is also a great finishing for sauces for more savory dishes.  In particular, crème fraîche can be used to finish a creamy pasta sauce.

I then recalled one of my favorite pasta dishes of all time from Basta Pasta, an amazing Japanese-Italian fusion restaurant in Manhattan that had some of the best pastas I had ever tasted.  The dish was called Farfalle Con Salmone E Crema: bow tie pasta with lightly smoked salmon, green peas & tomatoes in tarragon grain mustard cream sauce.  I was determined to recreate the dish (or come somewhat close to it) and started searching various recipes using these ingredients.  I learned this dish is typically a very popular spring dish considering the seasonality of peas (also the light pink and green color scheme).  Additionally, salmon pasta is apparently a very popular Italian Valentine’s Day dish… but I decided to make it in January anyway.  I am such a rebel I know.

The best recipe I found was from Cook Sister and, boy, does she know about her smoked salmon!  I used most of her recipe and added a few customizations to attempt to recreate Basta Pasta’s Farfalle Con Salmone E Crema.  I really did try to recreate the sauce, but I couldn’t find any tarragon so I went for dill instead, which is also a fabulous complement to salmon.  I think it turned out quite well, even though I forgot to add some fresh diced tomatoes… I think it tasted yummy without it, but perhaps will throw that in next time!

Pasta with Smoked Salmon & Peas in a Dill Cream Sauce

Yields: 4 servings


  • 8 oz Farfalle (bow tie) pasta
  • 8 oz smoked salmon, chopped and/or torn
  • 8 oz (1 C) green peas, fresh or frozen
  • 1 T butter
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 4 shallots, finely chopped
  • 1/2 C dry white wine
  • 2 T flour
  • 1/2 C crème fraîche (or heavy cream)
  • 2 T whole grain Dijon mustard
  • 1 T lemon juice (equivalent to half a lemon)
  • 1 pinch of dried herbs (Italian seasoning or Herbs de Provence)
  • 1/4 C dill, finely chopped
  • Black ground pepper to taste
  • Optional: lemon wedges


Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add a dash of salt and the farfalle pasta.  Cook 8-10 minutes until tender and drain.  Toss pasta with some olive oil to prevent the pasta from drying out and clumping together.  Set aside.

In a large pan, heat the butter and olive oil over medium heat and add the garlic and shallots.  Sauté until onions are translucent (don’t brown them!) and then stir in the peas. When the peas are softened, add the white wine and simmer for a couple minutes until reduced by half.

Lower heat and mix in the flour, stirring constantly to avoid clumping.  Add in the cream a little at a time, stirring continuously.

Stir in the whole grain mustard, lemon juice, and dried herbs.  Continue to gently simmer until sauce has reached your desired consistency.  (Add more flour to thicken or water to thin it out.)

Add the smoked salmon (optional: save some pieces for garnish) and dill and stir thoroughly with the sauce.  Turn off heat and season with black ground pepper to taste.  Be careful about adding salt as the smoked salmon is already fairly salty.

In a large bowl or pot, combine the pasta and the sauce and mix well.  Serve immediately.

Optional: Top each serving with remaining smoked salmon strips and chopped fresh dill.  Enjoy!

3 Responses to “Pasta with Smoked Salmon & Peas in a Dill Cream Sauce”
  1. Oh my, this recipe looks amazing. Thanks for the detailed directions, photos and tips, it makes the recipe easier to follow. Once the meal is done, then you will need a great to finish off this great pasta dish.

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  1. […] (despite the fact Singapore is essentially season-less).  My favorite spring pasta recipe is Pasta with Smoked Salmon & Peas in a Dill Cream Sauce.  I decided to try something a little different and found a recipe for Smoked Salmon Carbonara by […]

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