Creamy Orecchiette with Salmon and Asparagus

This pasta dish is spring in a bowl! Asparagus, spring onions, and wild salmon with a light and creamy sauce that is so flavorful thanks to the fresh dill, parsley and lemon. Greek yogurt gives this dish its creamy texture without weighing it down.

Once you prep your veggies, herbs, and salmon, this dish comes together very quickly. It is perfect for a weeknight dinner but would also impress guests! Have your fish monger or butcher remove the skin from your salmon for you so all you have to do is cut it into pieces. Using salmon in pasta is a great way to get more servings out of it. Wild salmon can be expensive so adding it to pasta means you don’t have to buy quite as much to feed a family.

Orecchiette is a favorite pasta in my house but feel free to use whatever you like or have around. It would be great with just about any pasta. When you cook your pasta, make sure your pasta water is WELL SALTED! The salted water flavors your pasta (you won’t end up with salty pasta!) and flavors the sauce. The starch in pasta water will thicken, bind, and emulsify your sauce. You get more of a “creaminess” without more oil or butter. My general rule is 2 tablespoons of kosher salt to 1 gallon of pasta water (which is about how much my big pasta pot holds). The only time I change this ratio is when I am making pasta with a salty base of olives, capers, or anchovies.

Creamy Orecchiette with Salmon and Asparagus

Recipe by Rhonda




  • 12 ounces orecchiette pasta (about 3/4 of a box)

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 1 tablespoon butter

  • 3 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1 bunch scallions, chopped

  • 1 lb asparagus, tough ends trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces

  • 1 pound of salmon filet (about 3 portions), cut into 1 inch chunks

  • 1/4 cup dry white wine (like Chardonnay)

  • kosher salt and fresh ground pepper

  • zest of one lemon

  • juice from half of a lemon

  • 1/2 cup full fat or low fat plain greek yogurt

  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh dill

  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley


  • In a large pot of well salted boiling water, cook pasta to al dente (according to package directions). Reserve 1/2 cup of pasta water before draining.
  • While pasta is cooking, heat olive oil and butter in a large pan or pot and sauté the garlic, scallions, and asparagus until the asparagus is just beginning to get tender (about 5 minutes). Add the salmon, season with a teaspoon of salt and pepper to taste, and cook until the salmon is opaque in the center and starting to flake easily. Add the white wine and simmer for 2 minutes. Mix in the lemon juice and zest and turn off the heat.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together the reserved pasta water and yogurt. Add to the salmon and veggies along with the fresh herbs and stir well to combine.
  • Add your hot drained pasta to the pan and mix well until all of the pasta is coated in sauce. Taste for seasoning, you may need to add additional salt.

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