Creamy Pasta with Salmon and Peas Recipe

Creamy Pasta with Salmon and Peas Recipe

How To Make Creamy Pasta with Salmon and Peas

Savor a serving of this incredibly creamy pasta made with a milky sauce, pasta tossed together with juicy salmon, green peas, then topped with cheese.

Preparation: 10 minutes
Cooking: 30 minutes
Total: 40 minutes



  • 3cupsdairy milk,whole
  • 1bay leaf
  • pinchcloves,ground
  • 1tbsplemon zest,(1 lemon), divided
  • 3tspkosher salt,divided
  • 1tspblack pepper,divided
  • 2tbspolive oil
  • 4filletsfresh salmon,(4 oz each)
  • 1lbrigatoni pasta,or other shaped pasta
  • 3tbspbutter,unsalted
  • ¼cupshallot,(1 small) minced
  • 1clovegarlic,minced
  • 2tbspall-purpose flour
  • tspnutmeg,ground
  • 12ozfresh green peas,(2 cups) or frozen
  • 2ozparmesan cheese,shredded, to garnish, optional
  • fresh parsley,chopped, to garnish, optional


  1. Place an oven rack about 6-inches from the heating element of the oven.

  2. Set the oven’s broiler to high.

  3. Set a 6-quart pot of water over medium-high heat. Bring the water to a boil.

  4. Add the rigatoni to the water and cook according to the package instructions (usually for 8 to 9 minutes) until tender. Be sure to stir the pasta occasionally to prevent clumping.

  5. Scoop out and reserve 1 cup of the pasta cooking water in case needed to thin the sauce later.

  6. Drain the pasta and set aside.

  7. While waiting for the pasta water to boil, warm the milk. 

  8. Set a small saucepan over low heat and add the milk, bay leaf, and ground cloves.

  9. Stir occasionally. Do not let the milk boil.

  10. In a 4-quart saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter for the béchamel.

  11. Once the butter has melted, add the shallots and garlic and cook for about 3 minutes until they appear glossy.

  12. Whisk in the flour to make a roux. Cook the roux for at least 1 minute to eliminate any starchy taste.

  13. Remove the bay leaf from the simmering pot of milk and slowly ladle or pour the warmed milk into the pot with the roux, whisking constantly to prevent clumping.

  14. Once all of the milk has been stirred in, allow the sauce to gently simmer, over low heat for 3 to 4 minutes, or until thickened to the consistency of corn syrup.

  15. Once the béchamel has thickened, add half of the lemon zest, 1½ teaspoons of salt, ½ teaspoon pepper, nutmeg, and peas.

  16. Reduce the heat to low to keep the sauce warm, stirring occasionally.

  17. In a small bowl, combine the remaining lemon zest, 1½ teaspoons of the salt, and ½ teaspoon of black pepper. Set aside.

  18. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil.

  19. Pour the olive oil onto the lined baking sheet and use the fingers to spread it evenly over the foil.

  20. Add the salmon fillets to the pan, turning them to coat them completely with oil. Leave the salmon skin side down.

  21. Rub equal amounts of the lemon-spice mixture onto each salmon fillet.

  22. Broil for 5 to 6 minutes, or until the flesh is opaque pink.

  23. Once the salmon has finished broiling, remove it from the oven and carefully flake the flesh into walnut-sized pieces.

  24. Discard the skin.

  25. The salmon will break down into smaller pieces when folded into the pasta at a later step. Set the salmon aside.

  26. Fold the pasta into the pot with the béchamel sauce and the peas. Make sure it’s coated completely.

  27. Gently fold in the salmon. Taste adjust the seasoning as needed.

  28. If the pasta seems too thick or clumpy, stir in a few splashes of the reserved pasta cooking water until the pasta is creamy.

  29. Serve with milk.

  30. Garnish with parmesan cheese and parsley, and serve while hot.

Recipe Notes

Streamline this recipe: While the water for the pasta is coming to a boil, warm the milk for the bechamel and get the salmon prepped. The pasta and the salmon can also cook at the same time while working on making the bechamel. 


  • Calories: 1100.10kcal
  • Fat: 53.74g
  • Saturated Fat: 16.48g
  • Trans Fat: 0.24g
  • Monounsaturated Fat: 16.62g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat: 11.84g
  • Carbohydrates: 75.76g
  • Fiber: 6.45g
  • Sugar: 12.13g
  • Protein: 74.90g
  • Cholesterol: 179.09mg
  • Sodium: 1294.62mg
  • Calcium: 329.03mg
  • Potassium: 1515.19mg
  • Iron: 3.65mg
  • Vitamin A: 169.64µg
  • Vitamin C: 42.36mg
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