This Smoked Salmon Pasta Salad allows the delicate flavors of the smoked fish to really shine. It makes for an exquisitely elegant appetizer.
This little salad was inspired by a recipe I tried for a hot pasta dish using Smoked Salmon. I didn’t like it much, as it turned out, chiefly because, as with canned tuna, I find that the delicate and best flavors of smoked salmon are lost when it is heated. I still had some of the salmon left, however, and it struck me that pairing it with pasta in a cold preparation should work just fine. The recipe I settled upon for this post is not only very tasty, but dead easy to make.
The Basic Method
Your first step will obviously be to cook the penne. You will likely have been told before that you shouldn’t rinse pasta after it has been cooked. This is generally true, BUT… if you are allowing the pasta to cool to be used in a cold dish THEN you need to rinse it well to remove excess starch. This is the one exception to the general rule.
The dressing is mayonnaise based, as is often the case with pasta salads. You can, of course, make your own mayo, but a good quality commercial variety is fine. Capers often accompany Smoked Salmon, as does Lemon, and both work nicely here. I have used Thyme, in addition to Parsley and Garlic, but you can omit it, or replace it with some other herb if you prefer. I am not fond of Dill, myself, but it would likely be appreciated by most people.
Assembling the salad is no more complicated than folding the pasta and other main ingredients into the dressing. The Smoked Salmon is quite delicate so be careful and fold gently so as not to break the strips.
The recipe calls for the salad to be chilled for at least an hour before service. That being said, the flavors shine much better if they are allowed to blend overnight in the fridge. If you choose to do this, you may wish to wait to add the tomato until an hour or so before service to avoid them throwing off too much water if they are very ripe.
Your Recipe Card:
Smoked Salmon Pasta Salad
- 2 cups cold cooked Penne,
- 2/3 cup Smoked Salmon sliced into strips;
- 1 small Scallion white part only, finely chopped;
- ½ small Green Bell Pepper cut into 3” slivers;
- 1 Plum Tomato diced after seeds and soft pulp removed;
- 4 Tbsp. Mayonnaise be generous;
- 2 Tbsp. Capers coarsely chopped;
- ½ tsp. Garlic Paste;
- 1 tsp. chopped fresh Thyme;
- 1 Tbsp. chopped fresh Parsley;
- 1 pinch Black Pepper;
- 1 pinch Salt;
- 1 Tbsp. Lemon Juice.
- Put the mayonnaise in the bottom of a large bowl and stir in the capers, garlic, lemon juice, herbs and seasonings.
- Fold in the pasta and the remaining ingredients, adding the salmon last and stirring gently so as not to break the strips.
- Chill for at least one hour before serving.