A DASH of Cooking: Smoked Salmon Pasta with Dill Sauce

Smoked Salmon Sentiments

Smoked Salmon Pasta with Dill Sauce
The final pasta, with a few extra capers because I love their spicy tang!

Growing up in the Pacific Northwest, I have been completely spoiled by having access to some of the best seafood in the country. It is well stocked at local grocery stores, and anyone who has watched a football game on tv at Seattle has seen the fish throwing at the market. Throughout my childhood, fresh smoked salmon was also a tradition at family holidays thanks to my wonderful uncle. Because of all of this, and the exposure to the rustic and fresh fusions of Pacific Northwest cuisine, I completely own that I am a snob about my seafood, especially when it comes to salmon. So when I first came across a recipe for a smoked salmon pasta using Nova lox style smoked salmon, I was pretty skeptical.

Fettuccine capers smoked salmon whole grain mustard lemon shallot parsley dill
Ingredients ready to go ahead of cooking to save time and stress while preparing.

However, it’s hard to completely ignore a dish that otherwise meets a lot of my foodie needs: simple and rustic with tangy and bold flavors, paired with fresh herbs and other ingredients. And ready in about 15 minutes? It was just too intriguing, despite it calling for that strange slimy Nova lox smoked salmon that to me always seemed like it couldn’t make up it’s mind if it was sashimi or a smoked meat. So, I put down my smoked salmon prejudice and got cooking. Good thing I did because this is hands down one of the most elegant, fast, and easy dishes I now have incorporated into my regular dinner routine.

Cooking Shallot capers whole grain mustard and oil with lemon
Preparing the base of the pasta sauce in one of my smaller skillets.

I recommend prepping all ingredients ahead of time as this pulls together fast and having the ingredients ready before you start cooking is really critical. I also recommend that you add a little olive oil to the water when cooking the pasta. I know some people say salt is the best, but the fettucine noodles always get stuck together for me unless I have a little olive oil in the water. I find this is best served with a glass of rose or a gin and tonic. Enjoy!

Cooking Shallot capers whole grain mustard and oil with lemon
The capers, shallot, and mustard simmering away in the lemon juice and olive oil.

Smoked Salmon Pasta with Dill Sauce

Based on Donna Hay’s Pasta with Smoked Salmon and Dill Sauce from the book new food fast.

“Pasta with Smoked Salmon and Dill Sauce.” New Food Fast, by Donna Hay, W. Morrow, 2003, pp. 26–26.

Tossing Smoked Salmon and herbs with Pasta
The color of the smoked salmon and green herbs are gorgeous with the pasta.


  • 1 lb. fresh fettuccine
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon salted capers, drained
  • 1 tablespoon wholegrain mustard
  • 1 shallot, thinly sliced
  • 8-10 slices of nova lox style smoked salmon
  • 2 tablespoons chopped dill
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
  • Black pepper
  • Fresh arugula
Smoked salmon pasta with dill sauce
Don’t be surprised if the heat of the hot pasta and the oil mixture slightly cooks the smoked salmon a touch as you mix it. It’s not bad at all, totally expected considering the hot ingredients.


  1. Prepare fettucine per package instructions for al dente pasta.
  2. While the pasta is cooking, cook the capers, mustard, and shallot in the oil and lemon juice in a frying pan or skillet over medium-low heat until shallots are softened.
  3. Drain the pasta and return it to its pot.
  4. Toss the pasta with the oil caper mixture, dill, parsley, and smoked salmon. Season generously with black pepper.
  5. Serve immediately on a bed of fresh arugula.
Smoked Salmon Pasta with Dill Sauce
Served on a bed of arugula, this simple and easy dinner looks and tastes like it should be served at some adorable sidewalk cafe.

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