Fish and Seafood, Pasta, Pizza, Risotto

Smoked Salmon Dill Fettuccine

Loreto August 24, 2016

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Smoked Salmon Dill Fettuccine, creamy, smoky, silky, aromatic deliciousness with a dill twist, a perfect meal for any season and any occasion!Smoked Salmon Dill Fettuccine

Smoked Salmon Dill Fettuccine,  elegant and beautiful, and it’s pasta, one of my favorite things to eat. Not because I am Italian and Nicoletta being from Italy, but because it tastes so so good!



Many of my best memories involves pasta. The Sundays when my nonna came to visit. Flour would be flying and eggs cracking with the sound of a squeaky table being moved as my mother and grandmother worked that pasta dough, more specifically home made spaghetti. I loved turning the handle that would spread that dough into sheets and then with another cut those sheets into velvety spaghetti. I was mesmerized watching my mother and nonna‘s hands working that dough into sheets then spaghetti flowing into their hands then lovingly placing them on another part of the table to rest and dry a bit.

My thoughts were on the smell that was coming out of the pot on the stove. Rich, sweet, acidic, voluptuous tomato sauce that had been cooking for hours and hours, thickening and intensifying in flavor. I would grab the wooden spoon and get to the bottom of the pot were all the pulp was and scoop it up to see it and then succumb to my hunger with a slice of pagnotta bread slathered with that pulp devoured in seconds. This is the Italian life, food, family. Keeping in this tradition and creating new memories we are making Smoked Salmon Dill Fettuccine.

Smoked Salmon Dill Fettuccine

The making of Smoked Salmon Dill Fettuccine.

I first tasted this dish in Italy with my wife. We had seen some smoked salmon (salmone affumicato, in Italian), and immediately Nicoletta was excited to have me taste a dish she absolutely loved and made often for her family. It was a smoked salmon penne dish that was so delicious and this panna (cream) which came in a little carton, so rich and creamy, I kept putting the fork to the plate to get the remains of the sauce into my mouth. The smoke on the salmon light, the texture of the salmon smooth, silky and melt in your mouth tasty. I loved it and became a fan.

Today we are bringing the tradition of this dish back home to Canada and making it with fettuccine, not homemade though, and some dill from our backyard garden. A quick trip to The Italian Center Shop and our bags are full of lovely ingredients including the fresh fettuccine, Sgambaro’s smoked salmon, the panna, and we are set.

Water’s on boil, nicely salted with sea salt. In the pan some good extra virgin D.O.P. olive oil, some onion minced finely, and that smooth velvet salmon just to saute for a bit. In goes the shot of whiskey, to simmer and reduce so that it sinks into the taste of the salmon, then the panna. The fettuccine, at this point, are in the boiling water cooking for the respective time on the package, but tasting required to get that beautiful al dente texture. Out comes the fettuccine and into the pan with the onions, salmon and panna (heavy cream could be substituted in place of panna, but check your local Italian markets if you have one close, for the panna). I usually pull the pasta out about a minute sooner and finish it in the pan with the sauce. This helps coat the pasta and helps sauce and pasta mingle into a great flavorful dish. Also I keep some pasta water just in case the pasta soaks up all the sauce and I need to lighten it a bit. The pasta water has some nice starch and it helps enrich the sauce too and not make it too watery.

Smoked Salmon Dill Fettuccine

The flavors of this dish are addictive. The fettuccine nice and al dente, always love that slight crunch. The sauce creamy infused with a bit of smoke and the flavors of the salmon rich in those fatty acids. The salmon morsels of goodness with that sweetness of the caramelized onions and the dill the perfect mate for the salmon and cream, and that ever so slight taste of the whiskey coming through in the cream. Bite after bite, lips smacking and plates being cleaned beyond belief. I hope you have a chance to try this recipe if you’re a pasta lover and have not yet tried it. I believe you won’t be disappointed. This to you, our nonne: Nonna Armanda, and Nonna Cristina for your loving hands and heart. We love you and miss you dearly!


I would like to take this opportunity to send our condolences to the families who lost loved ones in the earthquake that happened in Amatrice, Accumoli, and other towns of central Italy. Our hearts and prayers go out to you. It is with great sadness and devastation this news.  We pray for the ones who still have not been found. There will definitely need to be some relief for those poor people. Maybe some Italian bands would love to get a benefit concert together to raise money to help them. Just a thought.

I nostri cuori oggi sono in centro Italia, ad Accumoli, Amatrice, e a tutte le altre città devastate dal sisma. Preghiamo per le famiglie che hanno perso tutto, incluso i propri cari. Speriamo nella collaborazione di tutti, compresi concerti di beneficenza, per aiutare a ricostruire. 

Song of the day: “Tears and Rain” by James Blunt.

Loreto and Nicoletta


Smoked Salmon Dill Fettuccine

Smoked Salmon Dill Fettuccine

  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 25 minutes


  • 250 g fettuccine
  • 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 200 g smoked salmon
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 shot cognac or whiskey (we used Crown Royal)
  • 1 Tbsp fresh dill
  • Salt and Pepper to taste


  1. Fill a large pot with water and salt. Put water to boil on medium high heat.
  2. Cut the smoked salmon into slivers.
  3. In a skillet over medium heat add the olive oil and when warm, toss in the chopped onion. Stir until the onion gets translucent and golden brown.
  4. Add the slivered salmon, stir to coat the salmon in the olive oil, then add the shot of whiskey, let simmer and reduce to let the flavor sink in the salmon.
  5. Add the panna or cream and cook for few minutes, then turn off the heat and sprinkle some dill.
  6. When the pasta is cooked according to the cooking instructions on the package (usually for fresh fettuccine just few minutes), drain the pasta, leaving some of the cooking water in case you need it.
  7. Place the drained pasta in the skillet and coat with the sauce, adding the pasta water, if too dry.
  8. Plate and sprinkle with more dill on top.
  9. Serve immediately.
  10. Enjoy!


  • Serving Size: 3 servings
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Smoked Salmon Dill Fettuccine

Looking for other Fettuccine recipes? Here we go:


Fettucine with crimini mushrooms in white truffle oil sauce


One Shot Shiitake Egg Fettuccine



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  • Avatar
    Reply MDIVADOMESTICA August 24, 2016 at 1:44 pm

    Surprised with the Crown Royal in the recipe but it makes so much sense! Love it.

    • Loreto
      Reply Loreto August 24, 2016 at 2:29 pm

      Thank you so much, most of the time we use a white wine but I had received a bottle of crown royal and I don’t drink really just the occasional wine or beer with supper. We thought this might give an amazing flavor to the sauce, and it did, love those spontaneous moment like those, love them even more when they work out so well. Thank you for your comment.
      have a great day.

  • Avatar
    Reply Meaghan August 24, 2016 at 2:57 pm

    Such tragic news out of Italy last night and today. I share your thoughts and prayers for all those impacted by this disaster. Lovely idea to encourage a benefit concert!
    On a less serious note smoked salmon and whisky.. I think you may be channeling a little Scottish inspiration here 😉 Simple dinners that let the flavours sing are always my favorite. Will definitely be picking up some smoked salmon at the Italian Centre this weekend to make this pasta dish. Cheers.

    • Loreto
      Reply Loreto August 24, 2016 at 3:53 pm

      Hi Meaghan, thank you for your heartfelt comment, and for making me laugh at the thought of channeling a wee bit of Scottish in the dish, lol. I lovge the Sgambaro’s salmon at the Italian center, it is so flavorful and tender. You are also so right on the simple dishes that sing flavor.
      Have a great day and hopefully someone gets the thought of a benefit concert.

  • Avatar
    Reply Maria August 24, 2016 at 3:55 pm

    Beautiful read Loreto, thank-you. I have so much respect and admiration for our nonnas (and mothers) of that generation. So many wonderful memories. I am also guilty of dunking pagnotta directly in the sauce …no spoon required!
    Loreto, we also share our thoughts and prayers to all those affected by the devastating earthquake.

    • Loreto
      Reply Loreto August 24, 2016 at 4:00 pm

      Hi Maria, thank you for you beautiful comment and heartfelt prayers. It is devastating to say the least. As for our grandmas, god bless their souls for what they bring to our lives. One of my favorite gestures was the money rool slip into the pocket so no one could see. Loved that one with that special wink. So many memories and lovely ones at that.
      Take care and have a most joyous week.

  • Avatar
    Reply Hilary August 24, 2016 at 5:09 pm

    oh YUM!! I am absolutely starving right now and your pasta makes me want to lick my computer! haha It looks so fresh and delicious.

    • Loreto
      Reply Loreto August 25, 2016 at 7:19 am

      Hi Hillary, I am so glad we made you hungry, then we know we are doing a great job. Don’t lick the computer may give you a shock, lol just get some smoked salmon, heavy cream and pasta and whip up some of this delicious Italian food.
      Have a wonderful week!

  • Avatar
    Reply Mairead Rodgers August 24, 2016 at 5:15 pm

    I love smoked salmon but would never think to put it in pasta. It makes perfect sense with dill! Very intrigued by the Crown Royal too!

    • Loreto
      Reply Loreto August 25, 2016 at 7:17 am

      Hi Mairead, thank you for your comment. The crown royal seems to be getting a lot of attention, and rightly so it added such a wonderful flavor to the mix. Of course the alcohol is cooked out if any one was wondering. The smoked salmon also is so wonderful with that smokiness and its tenderness just infused into the fettuccine. Seconds were being requested here.
      Have a great day!

  • Avatar
    Reply Kathy @ Beyond the Chicken Coop August 26, 2016 at 6:46 am

    This pasta sounds lovely. I love your memories of your grandparents. Food often triggers wonderful memories. My heart goes out to those affected by the earthquake. My thoughts are with them.

    • Loreto
      Reply Loreto August 26, 2016 at 10:33 am

      Thank you so much kathy for your kind words. Greatly appreciated, and the pasta was so lovely and tasty. Memories are a great thing and food seems to spark these, your right!

  • Avatar
    Reply Adina August 28, 2016 at 7:05 am

    I love smoked salmon but never had it in this combination, it sounds great! I loved reading the post, I remembered my own nonna and her delicious food.

    • Loreto
      Reply Loreto August 29, 2016 at 5:55 am

      Thank you so much Adina, Memories of food in Italian families are usually pretty special and I was so happy that I had sparked some of yours with our stories. As for the smoked salmon give it a try it is so delicious and with a good quality fettuccine pasta which absorbs all that creamy smoky flavor. Mouth watering, lol.
      Have a stupendous week.

  • Avatar
    Reply James December 19, 2016 at 4:39 am

    Hi Loreto,
    Wow this looks yummy! Thank you for posting this. I love how the pasta isn’t too saucy, but it still looks juiced! Will definitely try and come back to check more of your recipes. Cheers!

    • Loreto
      Reply Loreto December 19, 2016 at 10:53 am

      Thanks James. Pasta is one of my favorite dishes to make, and us Italians like to keep it so we don’t lose sight of any ingredient and do the pasta itself justice. Thanks for stopping by and look forward to seeing you back!
      Have a great day!

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