Pappardelle in Lemon Cream Sauce with Asparagus and Smoked Salmon

Pappardelle in Lemon Cream Sauce with Asparagus and Smoked Salmon
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
I've been making this recipe for nearly 20 years! It is one I look forward to preparing as soon as fresh asparagus hits the farmer's market.
Recipe type: Main
Serves: 4 servings
  • 1 lb. asparagus
  • 2 large shallots
  • 2 lemons
  • ¼ lb. sliced smoked salmon
  • 1 lb. dried pappardelle or fettucine
  • 3 tbsp. unsalted butter
  • ¾ cup heavy cream
  1. Trim asparagus and diagonally cut into ¼ inch thick slices
  2. Finely chop the shallots
  3. Finely grate enough lemon zest to measure 1½ tsp.
  4. Squeeze enough lemon juice to measure 3 tbsp.
  5. Cut salmon into 2 by ½ inch strips
  6. Fill a 6 qt. pot ¾ full with salted water and bring to boil for asparagus and pasta
  7. Cook asparagus in boiling water until crisp tender, about 3 min., with slotted spoon transfer to bowl of ice water to stop cooking, reserving water in pot. Drain asparagus and set aside, reserving some tips for garnish
  8. In a deep 12 in. heavy skillet cook shallots in butter with salt and pepper over med heat, stirring, until softened, about 5 min.
  9. Stir in cream and zest and simmer, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened, about 10 min.
  10. Stir in 2 tbsp. lemon juice and remove skillet from heat.
  11. Return water in pot to boil, add pasta and cook according to package directions.
  12. Drain pasta, reserving 1 cup pasta water
  13. Add pasta to sauce, along with asparagus, ½ cup pasta water, three fourths of the salmon, remaining 1 tbsp. lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste.
  14. Heat mixture over low heat, gently tossing until just heated through, adding more pasta water if mixture becomes dry.
  15. Serve pasta with reserved asparagus tips and salmon.


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