Salmon Alfredo Pasta - Fettuccine tossed in a creamy parmesan sauce and salmon, a magic combination!
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4.91 from 21 votes

Salmon Alfredo Pasta

A creamy Alfredo pasta tossed with flakes of hot smoked salmon (or plain cooked salmon). Make sure you follow the steps to toss the sauce and pasta with some of the pasta cooking water - it makes all the difference to create a luscious creamy sauce using only 1/2 cup of cream!
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time25 mins
Course: Dinner, Pasta
Cuisine: Italian, Western
Servings: 3
Calories: 603kcal
Author: Nagi | RecipeTin Eats


  • 8 oz / 250g dried fettuccine
  • 3 tbsp / 50g unsalted butter
  • 1 small shallot (US) / eschallot (Australia), very finely minced (Note 1)
  • ½ cup / 125 ml heavy cream (Note 2)
  • ¾ cup / 185 ml freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano or parmesan (Notes 3 and 4)
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • Good grind of black pepper
  • 6-7 oz / 180 - 200g hot smoked salmon fillet , flaked (Note 5)


  • Fresh parsley (optional)
  • Extra Parmigiano Reggiano


  • Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Add the fettuccine and cook until al dente (still firm but just cooked through). (Note 6)
  • Meanwhile, melt the butter in a deep fry pan over medium high heat. (Note 7)
  • Add the shallots and sauté for 2 minutes or until tender.
  • Add the cream and bring to boil. Turn heat down to medium low and simmer for 3 minutes.
  • Remove the fry pan from the heat and stir through the Parmigiano Reggiano, salt and pepper until the sauce is smooth.
  • TAKE OUT 1/2 cup of pasta water PLUS scoop out an extra mug (extra, just in case). Then drain the pasta in a colander.
  • Transfer the pasta and 1/2 cup of reserved pasta water into the fry pan with the sauce. Add salmon. Return the fry pan to the stove over medium heat. Toss very gently to coat the pasta in the sauce and allow the sauce to emulsify (Note 6) for 1 1/2 - 2 minutes, until the sauce coats the pasta - there should be no sauce pooled at the bottom of the skillet. (Note 7)
  • Remove from the stove and serve immediately, garnished with extra Parmigiano Reggiano and fresh parsley, if using.


1. What is referred to as shallots in America are called Eschallots in Australia. They look like tiny onions, but usually slightly longer. The flavour is stronger and sweeter than onions. You can substitute with brown or white onions - around ¼ cup finely minced onion (you need more because onion is not as strong).
2. You can substitute with light cream for a lighter option. But it isn't the same!
3. Parmigiano Reggiano is a type of parmesan and is only made in Italy. The flavour is deeper, nuttier and stronger and even a little bit sweet. It is more expensive than parmesan cheese. You can substitute with parmesan cheese, but I really think that if there is ever a time to splurge on Parmigiano Reggiano, it's on a dish like this!
4. It is key that the Parmigiano Reggiano is FRESHLY and FINELY grated. Otherwise it won't melt into the cream and you'll end up with grainy sauce. Store bought grated cheese is too grainy, even from good delis. Trust me, I've made that mistake before.
5. Hot smoked salmon comes in fillets in vacuum sealed packets in the refrigerator section of supermarkets. It is already cooked.
However, you can make this with normal cooked salmon too. To do this, just sprinkle the salmon with salt and pepper, heat a little oil in a skillet over medium heat and cook the salmon for around 8 minutes, or until just cooked through. Then flake and use per the recipe.
6. However long the pasta packet suggests as the cooking time, subtract 1 minute for al dente because the pasta will continue cooking with the sauce. My fettuccine packet says 12 minutes so I boil it for 11 minutes.
7. You need a deep fry pan to cook pasta because the pasta is tossed with the sauce to emulsify (magic that happens with starch in pasta is cooked a bit with the oil in the sauce) which makes the pasta extra glossy, thick and rich. This is a key Italian tip for making amazing pastas!
If you don't have a large deep fry pan, use a very large pot.
8. The sauce should be silky smooth and a thin film should cling to each strand. The pasta should not be drowning in sauce. If the sauce goes gluey because you overcooked it or the heat is too high, just add a touch more of the pasta water (i.e. the extra mug of water you reserved) and it will go back to silky smooth.


Serving: 238g | Calories: 603kcal