Fettuccine Alfredo With a Creamy Dill Sauce and Smoked Salmon
Complementing a classic; embrace the carbs, embrace the cream. Add the salmon.
Serves: 4 • Prep Time: 5 mins • Cook Time: 10-12 mins
Fettuccine Alfredo With a Creamy Dill Sauce and Smoked Salmon
This dish deserves something more. Time to break out my totally (not) authentic Italian accent.
One more time, with gusto!
Now we’re talkin’. (Italy, I sincerely apologize for butchering your beautiful language.)
Please be warned. If you are watching your girlish figure, step away from the computer now. No need to torture yourself with this cheesy, creamy, divinity. Did I mention the tender smoked salmon pieces?
Good, I’m glad you stuck with me. Because I’m about to reveal a deep, dark secret.
I can’t eat dairy. *Cue very large violin.*
This was not my choice; my body decided to rebel and no longer lets me consume my favorite food group. *Can we cue the violin again?*
What makes this so tragic is that I used to be a HUGE cheese fiend. In fact, for longer than I care to admit, I had this dorky catch phrase: “Cheese is good for the souuuul!” And I would repeat this to any and all who were within earshot of me. Oh, and did I mention my delightful hillbilly voice that went along with this charming phrase?
I loved cheese so much that I (ok, correction, my mom) would pack it every day in my lunchbox. My best friend, Alyssa, (bless her for forgiving me for this) HATED cheese. (I know, what kind of person hates cheese!?) So, every lunch—and I do mean every—I would torture her by slow-eating my gooey, creamy laughing cow cheese triangles. You know, the ones you peel out of their perfect little foil packages. And then consume with utter glee. While watching your best friend gag as you get creamy white cheese all over your teeth. Then your best friend runs away from you. So, naturally, you run after her, cheese goop on your mouth and on your fingers. What a brat. But she got me back in her own ways. Good times.
One bite was all it took to realize this smoked salmon dish is something magnificent.
Hopefully you don’t have this cheeseless restriction! So I cooked this recipe for you. But don’t worry, I made sure to try some, because, well, it could be poisonous, obviously. One bite was all it took to realize this smoked salmon dish is something magnificent.
The Prep Work
The ingredients in this recipe are so beautiful. But then again, anything with salmon is beautiful.
As ever, start with onions. (Pro-tip: wear protective eyewear—such as goggles or a snorkel mask—while cutting onions to stop dreaded onion-cutting tears dead in their tracks. Or put the onion in the freezer for fifteen minutes prior to chopping.) The onions in this recipe give the alfredo sauce the necessary texture to balance out the richness of the sauce. I don’t know about you, but when I eat mac and cheese, I like lots of “stuff” in my pasta: broccoli, peas, tuna, salmon, you name it. It’s all good. The same precept applies to this recipe. For now, I’m sticking with the classics, onions, peas, and salmon. These veggies give your pasta dish a nice light crunch. And the salmon adds some salty to the creamy decadence.
Sauté onions in a non-stick skillet until lightly browned.
Meanwhile, I cook the pasta.
Step 1: Follow directions on package.
Step 2: Cook it al dente (aka the only way to cook pasta), or else…
Step 3: Voilà, and you’re done!
Ode to Cream
Despite the low-maintenance nature of this recipe, cooking the alfredo sauce takes some careful watching. After you’ve added all your ingredients to your non-stick skillet, it’s time to bring the creaminess to a boil. After it boils, bring it back down to a simmer. The consistency should have thickened substantially, and will continue to do so the longer you keep the sauce over the heat. But it still needs a bit more time. Watch it while you stir, until it becomes the ideal alfredo consistency. There’s a fine line between watery sauce and chunky sauce, but it’s pretty easy to eyeball when you want to take your sauce off the stove. Like anything, practice makes perfect! And this is a recipe you won’t mind practicing. Again and again.
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Now it’s time to add some color! Just drop in your greens and oranges, and keep mixing. I hope you find this process as beautiful as I do!
If your alfredo sauce ends up thicker than desired, you can always splash in a bit more cream. This addition will change the ratio of cream to cheese to butter, but a little more cream can’t hurt this recipe! It’s all tasty.
After I’ve finished cooking the alfredo sauce and pasta, it’s time to bring it all together. Alfredo is to pasta as yin is to yang, cookies are to cream, cheesy bread is to ranch dressing, popcorn is to hot sauce, shall I go on?
I’ve added some chili flakes. Because chili flakes rule.
If you’re a cheese fiend, like I am at heart, go crazy grating fresh parmesan on top of your salmon fettuccine alfredo. A sprinkle of dill on the tippy top makes this dish complete.
The one teeny, truly minute detail I should reiterate is that the only healthy thing about fettuccine alfredo is the calories you’ll burn ripping apart the smoked salmon to plop on top. This is pure indulgence. But every once in a while, it’s worth it. As they say in Parks and Rec, “treat yo self!”
Here’s how to make this delicious recipe
In a non-stick skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the onions and sauté until soft, about 5 mins.
In the meantime, boil a pot of water and cook the pasta al dente.
In the skillet with the onions, add in flour and whisk to make a roux. Mix in the cream, dill, and parmesan, and keep whisking.
Mix in the cream, dill, and parmesan, and keep whisking
Bring the alfredo sauce to a boil, and reduce heat to simmer, stirring constantly. Add in the smoked salmon and peas, and cook for 1-2 mins.
Add in the smoked salmon and peas, and cook for 1-2 mins
Because smoked salmon is salty, no need to add additional salt. Just pepper to taste.
Garnish with a sprinkle of chopped dill and fresh parmesan. Some extra smoked salmon on top is nice, too!
- 4 tbsp butter
- 1/2 cup red onion minced
- 2 tbsp flour
- 1 pint heavy cream
- 2 tbsp fresh dill chopped
- 1/2 cup parmesan cheese freshly grated
- 1 cup green peas
- 8 oz Smoked salmon (the thick stuff), ripped to bite size pieces
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Who’s Cooking Today
Rachel Zoë Silver, a recent Cal Berkeley graduate, has been a foodie since her first sushi at three years old. With heritage from the Pacific Northwest, she learned early how to select the best fish from the Pike Place market. Her parents, also cooks and foodies, schlepped her to the best restaurants up and down the West Coast and through Italy. Rachel was still missing her front teeth when she mastered her grandmother’s Apple Pie recipe. She is still as excited by food as she was when, at 18 months, discovered on the pantry floor, hands and face smeared brown, she declared, “Chocolate is Yum!”
More delicious salmon recipes!
The full FORQ salmon recipes archive, straight from our FORQ Enthusiasts.
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