Penne with Asparagus and Salmon

Penne agli Asparagi e Salmone


Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves


    as a main course

Appears in

Seafood and vegetables are a typical Italian combination, and asparagus and salmon complement each other perfectly.

Total time: 45 minutes


  • 8 ounces asparagus
  • Salt
  • ½ medium yellow onion
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 12 ounces ripe tomatoes
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 pound penne
  • cup heavy cream
  • 8 ounces skinless salmon fillet


  1. Fill a sauté pan wide enough to accommodate the asparagus with water, place over high heat, and bring to a boil.
  2. Cut off the woody bottom part of the asparagus spears, then peel the remaining bottom third. Add 1 teaspoon salt to the boiling water, then gently slide in the asparagus. Cook until the asparagus are tender, 5 to 6 minutes, then lift them out and set aside.
  3. While the asparagus are cooking, peel and finely chop the onion. Put it in a 12-inch skillet with the olive oil over medium-high heat. Sauté, stirring occasionally, until it turns a rich golden color, about 5 minutes.
  4. While the onion is sautéing, cut the asparagus into ¾-inch lengths. When the onion is ready, add the asparagus and sauté for about 5 minutes.
  5. Fill a pot for the pasta with at least 6 quarts water, place over high heat, and bring to a boil.
  6. While the asparagus are sautéing, peel the tomatoes and coarsely chop. Add the tomatoes to the asparagus and season with salt and pepper. Cook until the liquid the tomatoes release is evaporated completely.
  7. Add about 2 tablespoons salt to the boiling water, put in the penne, and stir well. Cook until al dente.
  8. Add the cream to the sauce and cook for 1 to 2 minutes until it thickens a bit. Cut the salmon into strips 2 to 3 inches long and about ¼ inch thick. Add them to the pan, season with salt and pepper, and cook for 2 to 3 minutes until the fish is cooked and flakes easily.
  9. When the pasta is done, drain it well, toss with the sauce, and serve at once.


You can make the sauce through step 6 up to 1 day ahead of time. Store, covered, in the refrigerator. Reheat before proceeding.