Smoked Salmon Carbonara – No time to sit, nowhere to sit

Smoked salmon carbonara (1 of 13)I had laid my hands on a nice piece of smoked salmon. That is, I had fallen victim of subtle retailing tactics. I am a sucker when it comes to buying good food. “Something around one and a half kilos?”  Lisa, she of George’s Fish Shop, had suggested to me. Not wanting to look mean or less than masculine, I of course, accented.

A week later, we already had smoked salmon and brown bread, smoked salmon salad and smoked salmon and poached egg. So I needed to do something different to avoid attracting the ire of the Wife for getting such an over-large side of salmon. Given my previous carbonara attempt using lactose free cream and enough pasta to feed an army, I thought I would try to redeem myself by cooking this quick, easy recipe. Quick, that is if you are not trying to photograph the proceedings. Easy, if you are not making it up as you go along…

Se here’s my recipe for Simple Smoked Salmon Carbonara. The list of ingredients is pretty short so here you go:

  • About 150 gms of best quality smoked salmon
  • 2 free range eggs beaten seasoned with loads of black pepper and a little salt
  • A generous handful of grated parmesan cheese
  • A generous handful of chopped parsley
  • 100 gms of flour, a drizzle of excellent olive oil and an egg for making the pasta.

First, cut fine slices of smoked salmon. To do this, you will need a very sharp knife and a good eye. I can confidently tell you that I have one of the two.

Smoked salmon

The sharp knife is only half the equipment needed. A steady hand and a good eye help too.

Next, make the pasta. I have shown you this before, so there is little need for detailed explanations. Also, I don’t have the time to get into explanations, she wants to be fed quickly.

Pasta ingredients

Pasta ingredients. What could be simpler. Egg, flour and olive oil?

Egg, olive oil and flour

Egg, olive oil and flour.

Egg, olive oil and flour

Whisk it until it gets too thick and gloopy to whisk.


Why did the baker sell the business? He kneaded the dough!

When finished, wrap the dough in cling film and pop it in the fridge for half an hour. Then boil a big pot of water. While this is coming to the boil, break the pasta into suitable size pieces and put it through the pasta machine.

Pasta making

The dough goes through the pasta machine. not once, not twice, not three times but four times to get it nice and thin.

At this stage, the Wife wants feeding. Thankfully, there is only ten minutes to go.

Pasta making

Last step before boiling it for a few minutes.

I had to give up my chair to the pasta hanging.

Pasta hanging on a chair

My pasta hanging on a chair.

Nowhere to sit. So I decided to buy some time by pouring a glass of wine. This little something was chosen because it was the only one in the fridge and also because it would go with the dish.

Macon Lugny

While waiting for te water to boil, I bought time by opening a nice drop.

Next boil the pot of water, add the pasta and cook for a couple of minutes. Drain it and put it back into the hot pot. Add the whisked egg and stir it for a bit until the egg is nearly cooked. Then add the salmon, parmesan and parsley. Stir it well and then serve it to yourself and the hungry Wife (not in that order).

Smoked salmon carbonara

Served standing up. There was not enough time to clear away the pasta machine.

I took a little time to photo mine as soon as I served the Wife. The chair was covered in flour and stuff so I ate mine standing up. Not that I was standing for long. Smoked salmon carbonaraTry it. It was pretty excellent.

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Latest comments
  • Good job with that salmon and fresh pasta!

  • Very nice, Conor. Fresh pasta, smoked salmon and vino. Simple, light and healthy. For a moment I thought Spring had arrived. And the EggHen snuck into a shot too. Lovely!

    • It’s her rightful place Adam. As for spring, forget it for another few weeks.

      • Don’t say it’s so, Conor. Today was positively balmy (may have misspelt that, r not l, after 4 day of frolicking away from the office. Nevertheless, spring is imminent I’m sure and light Mediterranean dishes are the staple for the next little while, hen’s be praised. Look forward to your coming pasta pointers.

  • Freshly made pasta? Oh, you are a good hubby! It all looks absolutely fabulous!

    • Hi Lidia, since doing this post a few weeks ago, I have learned an even better way to do the pasta. More anon….

  • Sounds great! I just bought a pasta machine yesterday. I can’t wait to get started making my own pasta.

    • The first couple of times it can be daunting but, I have found, that as one gets into it, it gets easier and well worth the little effort. I have a couple more posts coming up soon with fresh pasta. In the meantime, search for ‘pasta stand mixer’ at for a great and easy pasta recipe using a stand mixer. It’s the way forward.

  • hmmm. may try that with smoked sailfish that you can get here.

    • A lovely looking beast. What do they taste like?

  • Looks great! I have a carbonara monster in my house that just happens to love smoked salmon, so I will definitely try this!

  • compared to smoked salmon? Best I can think of is….. “gamey”. Nice though.

  • Excellent – I bet you didn’t have any leftovers or complaints 😉

    • Complaints are like the tide. Thou it was well out after this.

  • Looks sooper … As always, gobsmacked by the effort that goes in!

    • Thanks Sanjiv. It was pretty easy really. Very flavoursome.

  • I think the Italians levy the death penalty if you use parmesan with fish or shelfish pasta dishes … they are just wrong 🙂

    • I would be with them on the fresh fish or shellfish but smoked (salted) salmon? Hopefully they will not put the horse’s head in my chamber.

      • I always use it with shellfish myself … fish not so much, but then I haven’t done many pasta dishes with fish. I must try using the smoked salmon (or Char) this way sometime.

        • Never encountered smoked char. My brother is suggesting sailfish. Never encountered one of them, smoked or otherwise.

          • Arctic char is very like salmon so it smokes just as nicely. I used to cold-smoke it myself when I lived up at the North end of Baffin Island. I still hot-smoke it…

          • I love hot smoked salmon.

  • Great post, Conor! Love how you always manage to weave an entertaining story around your recipes. Interesting how your smoked salmon carbonara can be so different from mine. Fancy to make it with fresh pasta! Adding the salmon at the end is something to try, although I worry about the dish ending up too cold. Seafood pasta with cheese is a big no no in Italy, but since you seem to like it perhaps I should try that — can’t remember if I ever did.

    • The way I look at it is as follows; salmon gets caught in a river therefore it is not seafood.
      The argument that it has spent time in the sea doesn’t wash. As a child, I spent a lot of time in the sea myself. Mind I did not wash much either, but, I digress. The salmon gets salted and smoked so it can handle the cheese. Give it a go!

  • I eat with my eyes. Your photographs are excellent!

    • Thank you. I get good fun from it.

      • I am looking for your “how to make fresh pasta post”, where can I find it? Did you use plain flour or pasta flour?

        • I am using my phone and can’t get a link. However, a search for ‘Perfect Pasta’ on the blog will find the post.

  • Great post and I love the flavor profile. We stopped buying smoked salmon and now make our own gravlax, instead. You miss the kiss of smoke from the smoked salmon but the gravlax is so tasty and, even with high quality salmon, significantly cheaper.
    As for the seafood issue, salmon can be caught both at sea or in the river. Most commercially sold “wild” salmon is caught at sea. If it’s in the river then it’s spawning and starving itself. Regardless, if you’re in the water, you don’t need to bathe.In either event a little parmesan never hurt the salmon, or the cheese for that matter. 😉 Salmon has a robust taste that can stand up to the cheese.
    As an aside, Baby Lady wants you to know she sees her, out of focus, in the background, hidden behind the eggs. 😀 Hetty is watching you…

    • Thanks Richard. I agree on the salmon, for sure.
      While she misses her sister, she is happy to see her in such a good home. The Wife suspects that she is a bit jealous of the company.

  • Lovely. Italian food: simple but quality ingredients, minimal preparation, tastes amazing. It’s why its my favourite. Took me a long while to get the hang of the pasta making – very rewarding though.

  • Pasta with salmon is one of the first dishes I order after I arrive in Italy. Love how the smoke flavor pervades the dish. This is a great post, Conor, beautifully presented.

    • Thanks John. It was simple fare. I hav a few more pasta based posts on the way. We are getting to love the fresh pasta.

  • Gorgeous simple recipe tho’ am balking at the moment about making fresh pasta for one! Your story reminded me of a longterm Italian house help I had: poor woman had to take two buses to get to our place. Guess what: at least once a week she huffed and puffed up the hill and stairs with a couple of male wooden clothes hangers with long fresh pasta strands merrily waving from the crossbars: she’d owned an inn in Portofino and the pasta was to die for . . . ‘you no use’de horrible stuff from packet, Signora’!!

    • That’s my kind of home help Eha. I have a lovely picture in my mind. Pasta for one is simply one egg and 100gms of flour, perhaps with a drop of olive oil to keep it moving. It is worth the effort be it for one or a dozen.

      • Yes, Sir! Shall try and obey, Sir! Perhaps needed a push, Sir 🙂 !

  • You take beautiful pictures! Love smoked salmon but hardly ever eat pasta. Sigh – got to watch my waistline 🙂

    • Hi Vinny, every now and then, it is worth having. Well worth having.

      • Oh! Conor! I recognize your name from Stephane’s blog. As a kid, I loved Kraft Dinner! I guess the only time I’d ever consider eating pasta now would be if someone made it for me, fresh. And it looked like yours 🙂

        • You are very kind. My more recent attempts are getting better. It is lovely food.

  • Looks delicious! Continue to eat that amount of salmon each week and you will add an extra two years to your life, at least according to today’s newspapers. The secret? Omega-3! 🙂

    • We try to eat salmon at least once a week. We also try to avoid making the smoked stuff a habit as the salt content is off the scale. Tasty all the same.

  • Nothing better than a meal so good you eat it standing up. Looks great, Conor. I need to try making my own pasta — you make it look so easy. Maybe it’ll happen one of these days!

    • Give it a shot Tommy. Nothing to lose except an egg, some flour and your dignity.

      • Thankfully, I have very little dignity left to lose. 😉

  • This looks divine. Home made pasta and smoked salmon. Exquisite. If you still have some left, I have made Wolfgang puck’s smoked salmon pizza before and it is delicious (no cheese is involved!)…you can find it on Food Network.

  • Impressive! I’ve only recently started making fresh pasta, but it is truly fantastic. Especially when infused with other flavors.

    • Yes. As you see I am a novice too. It gets better each time I make it.

  • DELICIOUS. Making fresh pasta was quite the undertaking when my husband and I tried our hand at it last fall, but this recipe might force me to get the pasta machine out again for round two.

    • Get the machine out. It gets easier as you do it. I do appreciate that that seems impossible early on. I am enjoying it now and have only made it 5 times to date. I have two more blogs to post too!

  • Conor, I got myself a pasta maker but haven’t used it yet. Somehow I’m a bit apprehensive. The dough is where I stop. You have been making your own pasta and blogging for so long. Maybe I should just take the encouragement from you. This recipe is something I had never thought of. Love a good smoked salmon and there is never enough for me. Will keep you posted.

    • Do please. The pasta is daunting the first time, a mess the second time, very nice the third time, divine the fourth time and a family favourite from there on.

  • i love homemade pasta too…
    but unfortunately smoked salmo is rare ingredient here in Indonesia,
    i used to buy it online but now the online shop had closed down…
    btw your knive skills is awesome!

  • It seems you can make pasta from scratch in the same time I boil the pre-made stuff!

    • In truth, it’s getting there. Very little trouble and awesome. Well worth having every chair in the kitchen covered in strings of pasta while the water gets up to heat.

  • I definitely have to try this! This looks really good, and now my stomach is growling!

    • It’s simple and very tasty. Do give it a go.

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