Penne with Smoked Salmon and Whisky Cream Sauce

January 27, 2011

Author Notes: My friend Ruggero is a great cook, but his repetoire consists of just three dishes. This recipe is based on one of them.

You can use whatever whisky you have on hand, but I think smoky ones are nicest.

Serves: 2


  • 7 ounces penne
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 small shallot or half a large, diced fine
  • 4 tablespoons whisky, divided
  • 130 milliliters heavy cream
  • 3.5 ounces smoked salmon, chopped roughly
  • 1 tablespoon chives, snipped
In This Recipe


  1. Put the pasta water on the boil and assemble and prep your ingredients.
  2. In a small saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium-low. Add the shallot and cook, stirring occasionally, until it's fragrant and just beginning to color. Add 3 T whisky and turn up the heat to medium high for about a minute to cook off some of the alcohol. Return the flame to medium low and add the heavy cream. Whisk frequently and turn down the heat if it gets above a bare simmer.
  3. Cook penne til al dente. When it's a minute or two from being done, add the smoked salmon and remaining 1 T whisky to the cream sauce.
  4. Reserve about a half cup of the penne cooking water and drain. Return the drained penne to the pot and place on a low flame. Pour the cream sauce over the penne. Add a tablespoon of the reserved cooking water (or more if the pasta looks dry), and combine. Sprinkle with chives and serve.

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1 Review

Midge January 28, 2011