Fusilli Salmon

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I first tasted a pretty good salmon pasta in a restaurant. It was a great idea with mediocre execution, so I went home determined to make this dish sparkle. This is a great little salmon dish that is open to interpretation. It has become a family favorite.

Serves 4-6


  • 1 to 1 ½ lbs fresh salmon fillets
  • 1 lb fusilli pasta (or your favorite pasta)
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2- 4 large cloves of garlic
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • handful of fresh Italian parsley, chopped
  • olive oil
  • salt & pepper to taste


  • Grill or grill pan
  • Zester
  • Large
  • Plate
  • 2 small bowls
  • Pot to boil pasta
  • Colander
  • Frying pan
  • Large serving dish


  1. Clean, oil and preheat grill.
  2. Bring a large pot of water to boil.
  3. Zest lemon into a small dish and set aside.
  4. Cut the zested lemon in half and set aside for squeezing later.
  5. Chop parsley and set aside in another small bowl.
  6. Add a pinch of salt to water when it has begun to boil.
  7. Sweat chopped onions in a little touch of olive oil in frying pan over medium low heat. Stir occasionally.
  8. Turn heat up and add more olive oil. Sautee crushed garlic with onions.
  9. Add pasta to boiling water. Cook to taste (about 10-12 minutes.) I like it a little chewy (al dente.)
  10. Meanwhile, cook the salmon skin side down (if there is skin) over a high heat. The salmon should take about 8 - 10 minutes to cook depending on thickness. Turn and sear the top of the fish. I like my salmon seared on the outsides and lightly cooked in the middle.
  11. When done remove salmon to plate and let cool.
  12. Taste pasta to see if it is done. When ready drain pasta in colander.
  13. Add pasta to serving bowl.
  14. Break up cooked salmon into bite sized pieces and pour over salmon. Squeeze lemons over pasta. Sprinkle a few dashes of olive oil. Add chopped parsley, zest, salt and pepper and toss.
  15. Adjust seasoning to taste.
  16. Serve while still hot and enjoy.

What you should know

Timing is the key. Make sure the water is boiling before putting the fish on the grill.

I prefer Rustichella d’abruzzo pasta. It’s the only pasta that I’ve found that actually absorbs the delectable flavors of the sauce.

Re: Fusilli Salmon

Re: Fusilli Salmon

Great recipe- quick and light. I put baby spinach in the bottom of a bowl and put hot pasta on top, leaving it for a few minutes to wilt the spinach. I also added a little pasta water to the onion/garlic to make a little more of a “sauce” to put over. This was excellent topped with fresh grated parmesan!

Re: Fusilli Salmon

I am glad you liked the recipe and found it quick and light. The spinach at the bottom is great suggestion. I will give it a try next time I make this dish.

Also your suggestion to reserve a little of the pasta water and then drizzle to of over the top of the past after it has drained is a great one. I often reserve some of the pasta water in case I have leftovers in which case I add a little to keep the pasta from drying out in the fridge.

Thanks for your comment. -Andrew