May 19, 2016

20-Minute Salmon & Zucchini Pasta

Prep Time: 5 mins
Cook Time: 15 mins
This simple pasta comes together quickly with only a few ingredients including flakes of salmon, sautéed zucchini, mushrooms, olive oil and parmesan.

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When I was studying abroad in Switzerland I had this pasta for dinner almost every night during the week when I wasn’t traveling. There was a restaurant down the street from our program house that served food cafeteria style and we could get whatever we want included in our food plan.

I go through phases with certain dishes; when I find something simple and easy to make for a quick weeknight meal, I will make it until I get sick of it. As much as I love crazy flavor combinations sometimes I also like simple foods. This simple pasta is flexible – you can add or swap out whatever veggies and seafood you like.

20-Minute Salmon & Zucchini Pasta

Key Ingredients in This Salmon Pasta Recipe

  • Olive oil – While all olive oil comes from the fruit of olive trees, it’s not all created equal. Extra-virgin olive oil is unrefined and made from pure, cold-pressed olives, giving it more of a true olive taste. Regular olive oil is made from a blend of both cold-pressed and processed oils. I typically cook with extra-virgin olive oil when deciding between the two. Olive oil has a lower smoke point than many other oils, making it better for lower temperature cooking. Save pricey olive oils for finishing the recipe where the flavors will really shine – like in dips, for breads and salad dressing.
  • Salmon – While the most common type of salmon sold in stores is Atlantic salmon, there are many other varieties. Farm-raised Atlantic salmon is much fattier and thicker than many wild salmon varieties. The salmon is seasoned simply with salt and pepper before it’s roasted in the oven at a high heat until it’s just cooked through before it’s added to this pasta. If you can find it I love wild Alaskan salmon in this recipe.
  • Mushrooms – I typically use crimini also known as baby Bella mushrooms when I cook. They have a meatier, earthier mushroom flavor compared to white mushrooms. I recommend buying whole mushrooms and slicing them yourself so they are more evenly cut than pre-cut mushrooms. Use a damp paper towel to wipe away dirt before slicing the mushrooms.
  • Pappardelle – These wide, flat noodles resembling thick ribbons are made from an egg yolk-heavy dough and originate from Tuscany. They’re ideal for rich meat filled sauces like this bolognese or light sauces such as this salmon pasta recipe. It’s often sold in packaged nests or fresh in refrigerated cases. 
20-minute salmon and zucchini pasta recipe with mushrooms and parmesan cheese

How to Make Salmon & Zucchini Pasta

  1. Bake the salmon. Preheat oven to 400ºF. Rub the salmon with 1 teaspoon of olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Bake until tender and cooked through, about 16 minutes.
  2. Cook the pasta. Bring a large pot of water to a boil; add salt and bring back to a boil. Pour in the pasta and cook, stirring occasionally, until al dente, about 8 minutes. Drain and return the pasta to the pot.
  3. Sauté garlic and shallots. In a large sauté pan over medium heat, add 2 tablespoons of olive oil and heat through. Add the garlic and shallots and sauté, stirring occasionally, until the shallots are tender, about 4 minutes.
  4. Cook the zucchini. Add the zucchini, season with salt and pepper then sauté until tender and lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Remove to a large bowl and cover.
  5. Cook the mushrooms. Return the pan to the heat, add an additional 2 tablespoons of olive oil and heat through. Add the mushrooms, season with salt and pepper then sauté until golden brown, about 4 minutes. Remove to the same bowl as the zucchini.
  6. Toss the pasta with the veggies. Add the vegetable mixture and remaining oil to the pasta mixture, tossing to combine. Divide the pasta among warmed pasta bowls.
  7. Add the salmon and serve. Break the salmon into pieces and divide among the pasta bowls. Top with Parmesan cheese and serve immediately.
20-Minute easy Salmon & Zucchini Pasta recipe

Tips and Tricks for This Recipe

  • It might be considered heresy in Italy to add Parmesan to seafood pasta but sometimes you just have to caution to the wind. I like cheese. If you are offended by my use of cheese on this pasta then feel free to omit it from the recipe though I like how it works with the olive oil to create more of a light, flavorful sauce.
  • In this flexible recipe, pappardelle can easily be substitutes with another pasta shape if desired.

Other Recipes to Try

If you enjoy this salmon pasta recipe, I recommend checking out some of these:

20-Minute Salmon & Zucchini Pasta

Print Pin
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • ¾ pound salmon fillet
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • kosher salt, to taste
  • ground black pepper, to taste
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 medium shallot, diced
  • 2 medium zucchini, thinly sliced then cut into half moons
  • 2 cups sliced crimini mushrooms
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • ¾ pound pappardelle
  • ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese

Instructions:

  • Preheat oven to 400ºF (200ºC). Rub the salmon with 1 teaspoon of olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Bake until tender and cooked through, about 16 minutes.
  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil; add salt and bring back to a boil. Pour in the pasta and cook, stirring occasionally, until al dente, about 8 minutes. Drain and return the pasta to the pot.
  • In a large sauté pan over medium heat, add 2 tablespoons of olive oil and heat through. Add the garlic and shallots and sauté, stirring occasionally, until the shallots are tender, about 4 minutes.
  • Add the zucchini, season with salt and pepper then sauté until tender and lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Remove to a large bowl and cover.
  • Return the pan to the heat, add an additional 2 tablespoons of olive oil and heat through. Add the mushrooms, season with salt and pepper then sauté until golden brown, about 4 minutes. Remove to the same bowl as the zucchini.
  • Add the vegetable mixture and remaining oil to the pasta mixture, tossing to combine. Divide the pasta among warmed pasta bowls.
  • Break the salmon into pieces and divide among the pasta bowls. Top with Parmesan cheese and serve immediately.

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