Pasta and Salmon / Pasta e Salmone


  • 1 3/4 pounds salmon fillet, in one piece
  • 1 large bay leaf
  • 2 teaspoons fine sea salt
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 4 large shallots, minced
  • One 10-ounce bag fresh spinach, cooked, squeezed dry, and finely chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
  • 1 pound fettuccine


  1. Place the salmon fillet skin side down on the rack of a fish poacher and set aside. Fill the poacher with enough water to come halfway up the sides, add the bay leaf and 1 teaspoon of the salt, and bring to a simmer. Lower the rack into the poacher, submerging the salmon. Cover and poach the salmon until the fish easily flakes with a fork and registers 175º to 185ºF on an instant-read thermometer, 8 to 10 minutes.
  2. Carefully lift the poaching rack out of the poacher, draining the salmon well. When the salmon is cool enough to handle, remove and discard the skin. Cut the salmon into 1-inch chunks.
  3. In a large skillet, melt the butter. Add the shallots and cook until they are very soft. Add the spinach and cook for 2 minutes. Stir in the heavy cream, lemon zest, and the remaining 1 teaspoon salt, and bring to a simmer. Add the salmon, mixing carefully. Remove from the heat and cover to keep warm.
  4. Meanwhile, bring 6 quarts of salted water to a boil in a large pot. Add the fettuccine and cook until al dente. Drain and place on a large platter.
  5. Pour the salmon sauce over the fettuccine and gently toss. Serve immediately.
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