Tender pan-fried salmon with spaghetti and a little courgetti (spiralized courgette/zucchini) in a creamy tomato sauce. An easy weeknight dinner!
This is my way of making 3 salmon fillets stretch to feed four people, and also getting a little extra veg in there by mixing the courgetti with the spaghetti instead of replacing it entirely.
Now, I love spaghetti and I don't think any vegetable is going to replace the satisfaction I get from a bowl of steaming hot pasta. So I'm not one of those people who will happily eat a bowl of vegetable-based spaghetti instead of the proper stuff.
Life's too short to be making those soul-destroying swaps.
However, I don't mind reducing the amount of pasta by a little (i.e not using a FULL PACK for our family of four) and adding in a little courgetti to bulk it out. That I can manage, and actually rather enjoy!
All mixed together with chunks of pan-fried salmon and a thick tomato-cream sauce, it makes a great weeknight dinner.
📋 What do we need?
- Courgetti (zoodles) - you can buy them ready spiralized, or spiralize your own with this little gadget (<--affiliate link).
- Salmon - use skin-on or skinless salmon (it's easy to remove the skin during cooking).
🔪 How to make this Salmon Pasta Recipe
Full recipe with detailed steps in the recipe card at the end of this post.
- Season the salmon and fry (flesh-side down), then turn the salmon over and move it to the side of the pan. Add onions and garlic and fry, then add in passata, tomato puree, thyme and sugar.
- Simmer for a few minutes, then remove the skin from the salmon and break up the salmon with a fork.
- Pour in some cream and stir together, then add cooked spaghetti and courgetti along with a good splash of the pasta cooking water, and toss it all together.
👩🍳PRO TIP 1 Add the courgetti (courgetti noodles) into the pan you boil the spaghetti in for just the last 30 seconds of cooking so the courgetti retains a bit of bite.
👩🍳PRO TIP 2 Look out for ready-spiralized courgetti in the supermarket. If you can't find it or don't own a spiralizer, then just cut the courgette into thin strips.
Serve with a sprinkling of black pepper, parmesan and basil leaves.
If you want to loosen up the sauce further, simply add in another big splash of the pasta cooking water - that starchy water will help the sauce cling to the pasta.
📺 Watch how to make it
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Creamy Tomato Salmon Pasta
Salmon and Sauce:
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 3 pieces boneless salmon (approx 400g/14oz) - doesn't matter if the skin is on, as it can easily be removed during cooking
- ¼ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp black pepper
- 1 medium onion (or 2 small onions) - peeled and finely diced
- 2 garlic cloves - peeled and minced
- 500 g (17.5 oz) passata
- 1 tbsp tomato puree - paste for US
- ½ tsp dried thyme
- 1 tsp sugar
- 3 tbsp double (heavy) cream
- 300 g (10.5 oz) dried spaghetti
- 1 large courgette (zucchini) - spiralized, or sliced into long thin strips (matchstick width)
- grated parmesan cheese
- fresh basil
- black pepper
- Put the pasta on first - place a large pan of water on to boil.
- When the water comes to the boil, add the pasta and simmer for 12-13 minutes, until cooked.300 g (10.5 oz) dried spaghetti
- Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large frying pan over a medium-high heat.2 tbsp olive oil
- Season the salmon fillets with the salt and pepper. Place in the pan skin-side-up.3 pieces boneless salmon (approx 400g/14oz), ¼ tsp salt, ¼ tsp black pepper
- Fry the salmon for 3 minutes, until golden, then turn the salmon over and move it to one side of the pan.
- Add the onions to the space left in the pan. Cook on a medium heat for 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally, until softened.1 medium onion (or 2 small onions)
- Stir in the minced garlic and cook for a further 30 seconds.2 garlic cloves
- Add in the passata, tomato puree, dried thyme, and sugar. Stir together and allow to simmer for 2-3 minutes.500 g (17.5 oz) passata, 1 tbsp tomato puree, ½ tsp dried thyme, 1 tsp sugar
- By now the pasta should be nearly ready. Add the spiralized courgette (zucchini) to the pan with the pasta for the last 30 seconds of cooking. Then drain the pasta in a colander, reserving a cup of the cooking water.1 large courgette (zucchini)
- Turn the salmon over in the frying pan. Remove the skin using a set of tongs and discard.
- Break up the salmon using the back of a fork into chunky pieces. Stir the cream into the sauce.3 tbsp double (heavy) cream
- Add the cooked spaghetti and spiralized courgette to the pan along with a good splash (about ¼ cup) of the pasta cooking water.
- Use a set of tongs to toss the spaghetti in the sauce, distributing the pieces of salmon amongst the pasta.
- Add more of the pasta cooking water if you want to loosen up the sauce further (optional).
- Divide the pasta between bowls and top with a little grated parmesan, black pepper, and a sprinkling of fresh basil leaves.grated parmesan cheese, fresh basil, black pepper
- Swap the spaghetti for linguine, fettuccine or your favourite pasta shapes.
- Stir in a handful of grated parmesan or cheddar when you add in the pasta.
- Add a pinch of chilli flakes for a bit of heat.
This post was first published in January 2015. Updated in April 2021 with new photos, video and a few recipe tweaks.
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