Pesto Salmon Over Lemon Pasta Recipe
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Lightly coat a baking dish large enough to accommodate the fish with oil or cooking spray. Place the salmon in the dish skin side down. Run a finger over the flesh to make sure all bones have been removed. Use pliers to pull out any that remain. Squeeze the juice of 1 lemon over the fish and add the white wine. Marinate at room temperature for 15 minutes.
Preheat the broiler.
Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to boil over high heat. Add the angel hair pasta with the sea salt. Cook according to package directions. When done, drain and toss in a bowl with the butter, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, basil, and Parmesan cheese.
Coat the top side of the fish with a thick layer of pesto. It should be between 1/8- to ¼-inch-thick, and cover the surface of the fish.
Place the fish under the broiler about 9 inches from heat source. Broil for 8-10 minutes per inch of thickness, or until the fish flakes and the flesh is opaque. The pesto should have formed a heavily browned crust.
Remove from the oven and set aside for a few minutes. Squeeze ½ of the second lemon over the fish. Place the lemon slices on individual servings, or arrange on the whole flank if serving at the table. Serve the salmon on top of the pasta.
Grilled Pesto Salmon – Flavours that will make your taste buds sing/>by DNAfit
Grilled Pesto Salmon: Tasty meal loaded with goodness. Image: DNAfit.
Hit the spot with this delicious grilled pesto salmon recipe. The nutty green pesto pairs excellently with the butter-soft salmon.
This recipe is not only satisfying and tasty, but super healthy. Salmon is packed with omega 3 fatty acids and also contains vitamin D that strengthens our bones and teeth.
This grilled pesto salmon recipe makes use of so much fresh ingredients and is ready in a few quick minutes. The pesto is a delicious blend of basil leaves, garlic, parmesan cheese and zesty lemon juice. This vibrant combination will make your taste buds sing.
If you are looking for a quick and easy midweek meal, look no further than this grilled pesto salmon recipe.
Ingredients and shopping tips
Here’s all you’ll need to make this dish. You can click straight to the full recipe card for detailed amounts and instructions.
- Penne or another dried pasta you love. It helps to use something with twirls or ridges to hold the pesto.
- Salmon filet. You can buy salmon with the skin on or off. It doesn’t matter much for this recipe, because you’ll be flaking off pieces to serve with the pasta and can leave the skin behind then, in any case.
- Parmesan cheese.
- Olive oil, lemon juice, kosher salt, and black pepper.
- PESTO! The star ingredient here.
The case for homemade pesto
I love making this with homemade pesto, especially in the summer when fresh basil is plentiful. Our go-to basil pesto has a hint of lemon zest for extra flavor and tartness. However, the batch of salmon pesto pasta shown in the photos here was actually made with our favorite zucchini basil pesto, which is a terrific way to use extra zucchini. It tastes just like “regular” pesto but is stealthy healthy, with two whole zucchini and a generous handful of spinach.
Best of all, homemade pesto can be made and stored in the fridge until you want to use it in a recipe like this. It’s helpful to do that any time you have a bunch of basil, zucchini, or other greens on the verge of going bad.
That said, I definitely appreciate that some nights you just need your pesto to come from a jar — at least I do! DeLallo is always a reliable brand, if that’s available to you.
What Salmon Should I use?
The star of this Salmon Pasta recipe is the salmon so don’t shortchange yourself by using the wrong type of salmon. You will want to use wild-caught salmon fillets for the very best flavor and texture. Here’s what to look for:
- Use wild caught salmon. Always look for wild caught salmon (preferably Alaskan) and avoid farm-raised Atlantic salmon. Wild caught salmon includes king, coho and sockeye salmon. King salmon is the richest tasting, but it is also the most expensive, so don’t feel like you have to buy it – the other varieties will also taste delicious.
- What Salmon should I avoid? Avoid farm-raised Atlantic salmon as it is fatty, less nutritious (due to its artificial diet), waterier and can bake up mushy.
- Can I use frozen salmon? You can certainly use frozen fillets just take care they are wild caught fillets and you defrost them before baking. Wild caught salmon is always better than farmed salmon – fresh OR frozen.
- Where to purchase salmon? I usually purchase salmon at the seafood counter of my grocery store so I know they are fresh and can select fillets of uniform size. My salmon in this Salmon Pasta recipe, however was actually wild caught by my family in Alaska. Costco also has a good selection of salmon and even frozen wild caught salmon fillets in the freezer section.
- Do I use skin on or off salmon? You can use either! Since we are baking the salmon in the oven it really doesn’t matter. Place the salmon skin side down and the skin will peel right off once baked.
- Can I use leftover salmon? Absolutely! You can make this Salmon Pasta recipe with almost any leftover salmon as long as it’s not seasoned with Asian seasonings. Bake, grill or pan sear salmon for dinner one day then make this recipe the next!
- 1 (16 ounce) package spaghetti
- 4 ounces Pecorino-Romano cheese, cut into cubes
- 6 cloves garlic
- 2 cups loosely packed baby spinach leaves
- 1 cup firmly packed basil leaves
- ½ cup chopped walnuts
- ¼ cup lemon juice
- ¼ teaspoon lemon zest
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Cook spaghetti at a boil until cooked through but firm to the bite, about 12 minutes drain. Transfer spaghetti to a large bowl.
Put cubed Romano cheese in the bowl of a food processor process until coarsely grated, about 30 seconds. Put garlic into the food processor and process until the cheese and garlic are combined. Add spinach, basil, walnuts, lemon juice, lemon zest, and salt process until the mixture comes together into a thick paste. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula.
With food processor running, drizzle olive oil into the mixture. Continue processing until the oil is integrated smoothly.
Pesto Salmon Pasta Tips and FAQ
- Why doesn’t this recipe add salt? You’ll notice that I didn’t include salt in this dish, and that’s because there was already salt added to the pesto I purchased as well as the canned salmon, and because Parmesan cheese is naturally salty. However, if you find that it needs extra seasoning, feel free to salt to taste! You may need to add a pinch especially if you’re using homemade pesto.
- What’s a good side dish? This meal is pretty hearty as-is, but some roasted asparagus or roasted broccoli works well as a side dish if you’d like to add one.
- How long can you store pesto pasta in the fridge? I recommend eating this within 3 days of making it for best quality. You can reheat it in the microwave.
- Can you use fresh salmon instead of canned? Sure! This can be a great way to use leftover salmon from the night before. Or, to use fresh salmon that you just bought, I’d recommend roasting it in the oven while you’re getting your pasta going on the stove top. This way, you get both things cooked at the same time, then proceed with the rest of the recipe. To cook the salmon in the oven, preheat it to 400F. Place the salmon in tin foil, and season with salt, pepper, a drizzle of olive oil, and a few lemon slices. Seal the foil tightly and bake for about 20-25 minutes, or until it’s cooked through. Then use the cooked salmon in the recipe as written.
- 8 ounces whole-wheat fettuccine
- ⅔ cup pesto
- 1 ¼ pounds wild salmon (see Tip), skinned and cut into 4 portions
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground pepper
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add fettuccine and cook until just tender, about 9 minutes. Drain and transfer to a large bowl. Toss with pesto.
Meanwhile, season salmon with salt and pepper. Heat oil in a large cast-iron or nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add salmon and cook, turning once, until just opaque in the middle, 2 to 4 minutes per side. Serve the salmon with the pasta.
How To Make Lemon Butter Salmon Pasta
- Preheat oven.
- Add the salmon and bake in the hot oven for 27 mins.
- Cook the spaghetti according to packet instructions and set aside.
- Make the lemon butter sauce (see below for instructions).
- Serve the salmon over the pasta with the lemon butter sauce drizzled on top.
- Yeap, best ever lemon butter salmon pasta.
STEP ONE – To start, prepare your pasta according to package directions. I chose to use linguini noodles, but quite honestly, any pasta shape will be sufficient. Cook the pasta until al dente, drain the pasta, but reserve about 1 cup of the salted water.
STEP TWO – Heat butter and olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic, cook for a minute before adding sliced zucchini, mushrooms, peppers, and a little salt and pepper. Cook the vegetables just until they begin to soften.
STEP THREE – Add the drained pasta to the same skillet. Add the pesto, turning to coat. I used a jarred pesto, but of course, homemade pesto is welcome!
STEP FOUR – Add a little lemon zest and a splash of lemon juice. This will add a touch of freshness that will liven the sauce and the veggies.
STEP FIVE – Add splashes of water from the reserved cup of pasta water to the pesto sauce. The starch from the cooked pasta will magically thicken the sauce and of course at a little more flavor to the whole dish!
STEP SIX – Just before serving, stir in fresh spinach leaves and halved cherry tomatoes. Sprinkle your pasta with grated Parmesan cheese!
What to serve with pesto salmon
I love to serve this salmon with boiled redskin potatoes. with a little pesto, butter, salt and pepper stirred in. Yum!
Or. wait for it. you can serve this pesto salmon over pasta! Farfalle (butterfly-shaped pasta) would work well.
Friends, this Baked Pesto Salmon is impressive, company worthy -- and most importantly -- approved by Mom! She absolutely loved it, despite the unwritten Italian rule of "no cheese with fish."
See? Food can be untraditional and delicious!
I hope you love this as much as my family does.