Penne rigate con due salmone in salsa di crema di Cinzano

Toss together tender morsels of dill-infused wild salmon, smoky bits of cured smoked salmon, perfectly cooked al dente penne rigate, heavy cream sauce  kissed with Cinzano – and you got yourself the happy formula. BTW – caramelized wild mushrooms, morels particularly, will be amazing in this dish!

Invite a group of your friends, open a bottle of perfectly chilled Sauvignon Blanc – mise, chat, mise, laugh, cook, laugh, toss, serve and enjoy! Hm…now that’s what I call comfort food.

It’s rustic cooking at one of its finest. You get the point – don’t fuss over the extra pinch here or there – just let go, trust your palate, and enjoy the orchestration.

Penne rigate con due salmone in salsa di crema di Cinzano

Serves 4, can easily double if you’re up to sharing the love

Penne rigate, you’ll need a couple of handful of uncooked for each person

12oz wild salmon, 3oz per serving

4oz smoked salmon (what the heck, get 8oz, you and your partner can nibble on them during cooking)

4 large shallots, 2 roughly sliced + 2 small dice

2 tbsp butter

2 cups heavy cream, more or less, pending on how “saucy” and sinful you like it

Lemon juice, to taste

Generous handfuls of fresh dill

¼ cup A bottle of Sauvignon Blanc, or more to taste

¼ cup Cinzano, or more to taste

Some pasta water

Sea salt, to taste


Preheat oven to 4000F.

Wrap the wild salmon in silver foil or parchment paper, along with some fresh dill, 2 rougly sliced shallots, some sea salt, a squeeze of lemon juice, a splash of Sauvignon Blanc and Cinzano. Wrap and bake for 20-30 minutes. Remove from oven, peel skin, and roughly tear the salmon into chunks. You’ll be tossing this with the pasta later.

(nibble on some smoked salmon, sip some wine…)

Cook pasta in lots of salted boiling water; drain and reserve some of the pasta water (you’ll add this in the sauce, the starch from the pasta water will act as a thickening agent).

In the meantime, in a large sauce pan (big enough to house the pasta, salmon and sauce), melt the butter, add the 2 small diced shallots. Sauté until shallots become translucent. Deglaze pan with the Cinzano, au sec.  Some white wine, au sec.

Add the cooked pasta, reserved pasta water and slowly the heavy cream, while stirring until you reach desired consistency. Bring to a boil.

Add in and gently fold the wild, smoked salmon, and hand torn dill. Season to taste with lemon juice, sea salt, and go for it…some more Cinzano and white wine, if you like.

Bring it to a boil, serve immediately and enjoy!

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