Seared Salmon with Farfalle and Leeks

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Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4

Loaded with heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids, salmon also adds pretty color and wonderful flavor to this easy weeknight pasta dish. You can substitute smoked salmon, if you like; just cut it up and add it at the end. This dish is also tasty served cold with a squeeze of lemon and a sprinkle of capers.


  • 4 Tbs. (2 fl. oz./60 ml) olive oil
  • 2 boneless, skinless salmon fillets, about 4 oz. (125 g) each
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2 large leeks, white and light green portions, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced crosswise
  • 2 cups (2 oz./60 g) arugula leaves, tough stems removed
  • 8 oz. (250 g) farfalle
  • 2 Tbs. fresh lemon juice


In a large, nonstick fry pan over high heat, warm 1 Tbs. of the olive oil Season both sides of the salmon with salt and pepper. Place the salmon in the hot pan and cook, turning once, until nicely seared on the outside but still rare inside, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate, cover loosely with aluminum foil and set aside.

Bring a large pot two-thirds full of salted water to a boil over high heat.

In a clean large fry pan over medium-high heat, warm the remaining 3 Tbs. olive oil. Add the leeks and season well with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring often, until soft and golden brown, about 8 minutes. Add the arugula and sauté until just wilted, about 3 minutes. Remove from the heat.

Meanwhile, add the pasta to the boiling water and cook according to the package directions until al dente. Drain the pasta, reserving 1/2 cup (4 fl. oz./125 ml) of the cooking water. Add the pasta to the fry pan with the leeks and arugula and place over medium heat. Stir in the lemon juice and reserved pasta-cooking water.

Flake the salmon into 1-inch (2.5-cm) pieces and gently fold it into the pasta along with any juices that have collected on the plate. Taste and adjust the seasoning and serve immediately. Serves 4.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Pasta Night, by Kate McMillan (Weldon Owen, 2014)

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