Salmon Spaghetti “Carbonara”


This recipe for Salmon Spaghetti “Carbonara” belongs to your ‘sexy food’ folder and it goes without saying you should have some nice company along with a glass (or three) of chilled Champagne to go with it. The idea here is to replace the requisite guanciale, cured pork jowl, with smoked salmon. I had a piece of olive-oil poached salmon belly and some roe left from a dinner party which i also used. The salmon roe, while optional, add pleasing bursts of briny flavor. I like to think of it as an umami version of pop rocks. You could also lie to your guest by telling them you made those using your molecular gastronomy kit. Whatever rocks your boat.


I’ve kept it fairly simple this time. In the original, guanciale (or pancetta) is rendered and crisped, the fat and crispy bits added to beaten eggs. Abundant black pepper and grated Parmesan go into the mix. At the last minute, the heat and starch of the cooked pasta, straight from the colander, thicken and partially cook the beaten-egg mixture. The result is an an unctuous sauce that clings to every strand of spaghetti, linguine, or fettuccine. This version omits the guanciale and also the parmesan but includes a little sour cream to give the sauce extra body. Add some roughly chopped dill and some grated lemon zest to the mix and get ready for something extremely delicious.

Now i’ve done my part, you do yours. Just don’t forget to blow-out the candles after you’re done.

  • Salmon Spaghetti “Carbonara”

    • Serves 2
  • salmon-carbonara-7
    • For the salmon spaghetti ‘carbonara’:
    • 4 ounces smoked salmon
    • 4 ounces olive-oil poached salmon
    • 2 tablespoon butter
    • 2 shallots, finely chopped
    • 1 extra large egg
    • 2 tablespoons sour cream
    • dill, to taste
    • salt & white pepper
    • grated lemon zest, optional
    • salmon roe
    • 3/4 lbs spaghetti
    • For the salmon spaghetti ‘carbonara’:
    • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook the spaghetti to ‘al dente’.
    • Meanwhile, in a large sautee pan melt the butter and add the shallots. Cook slowly until they become translucent. Keep on very low heat.
    • Cut the smoked salmon into strip and shred the salmon belly if using. Add them to the pan. Beat the egg in a small bowl and season with salt and white pepper. Keep aside.
    • Drain the pasta and toss in the pan while still hot. Add the beaten egg, the sour cream and the dill to the pan and mix until the egg gets cooked by the heat and clings to the pasta.
    • Divide the pasta and salmon between 2 bowls. Top with salmon roe, dill and lemon zest and serve immediately.
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  • Monique

    What beautiful shots!!!

  • Colloquial Cook

    Génial les glitters derrière les pâtes. Tu manges assis dans ton arbre de Noël?

    C’est festif.

  • Ginny

    Oh my! I definitely want to make this… keep wanting to try olive oil poached salmon! you are making me hungry!

  • mochachocolatarita

    hello pasta bokeh! 😀 where hv u been all my life?

  • Kitchen M

    Triple salmons! It’s as if salmon was the secret ingredient of an Iron Chef battle. It looks wonderful! :)

  • Christine @ Fresh Local

    This SSC looks fab!

  • Mel

    Drools :) I like the addition of the sour cream to give it a bit of tang.

  • nina

    Zenman, that is exceptional!!! It is taking a normally very rustic dish to such elegance….true chef style!!!

  • Lori @ RecipeGirl

    Love this sexy dinner idea :)

  • dawn

    I’ll eat this sexy dinner with you. 😉

  • JD

    Never been much of a fan for salmon roe, but those shots really make it look appetizing.

  • my boyfriend cooks for me

    Love the clever name for this dish – carbonara…brilliant!

  • tigerfish

    That serving quantity is just not enough for me. But well, it’s sexy food…which leaves me craving for more.

  • Fiona

    oh my. the saumon roe is a nice touch! adding the refreshing salty spin on top of the rich creaminess.

  • pigpigscorner

    OMG this is so sexy!

  • Shannon @

    wow the sauce looks really smooth, whenever I make carbonara it tends to be ever so slightly grainy or gluggy

  • Mari @ Once Upon a Plate

    It’s gorgeous ~ wish I could have a forkful of that delightful dish right now.

    As always superb photography, it’s always a treat to come visit your site.

  • Rasa Malaysia

    So pretty Zen and perfect color combinations. Yellow, green, orange and salmon pink. You are unbelievable!!!

  • Dolce

    I am a huge fan of 1.carbonara (I cooked a poached egg version lately), 2.salmon, 3.salmon roe. So your recipe comes in very handy. Yum!

  • The Little Teochew

    Your cooking is art. Edible art.


  • Jonny

    now, why would I want to pretend I had a molecular gastronomy kit? I feel like whereas my Dad used to get my these awful chemistry sets for Christmas, these days kids a Wylie Dufresne signature molecular gastronomy kit…
    by the way, this looks terrific! I think that if we made it, and we might well, we’d render some bacon or guanciale fat instead or as well as the butter. it might ruin the purity of the dish and compete with the lemon, but i do love the combo of pork and seafood. I wonder if one could poach the salmon in bacon grease…?

  • diva@The Sugar Bar

    oh what a beautiful dish and carbonara sure is a sexy comfort food. nothing quite like it! :) love your take on it

  • Tokyo Terrace

    In my “sexy food folder”as of right now. Beautiful!

  • Julia, the Thanksgiving Girl

    INCREDIBLY beautiful shots and I’m just amazed at teh simplicity of the meal – easy to cook yet it’s made of all the ingredients that I’m absolutely in love with – pasta + salmon + red caviar! Yay! THANK YOU :)