Creamy smoked salmon & kale pasta

Quick to make, delicious to eat! Super-veg kale is cooked with caramelised onions, cream & smoked salmon, to create a gorgeous sauce for pasta. Yum!

From time to time we get a bag of kale in our organic vegetable box. I’ve tried cooking it different ways, but after much experimentation, it seems that adding caramelised onions and double cream are really the way to go. You could say that about most things, I suppose, but it’s a treatment that really turns kale from something mundane into something delicious.

smoked salmon & kale pasta

Added protein

This dish is basically my recipe for gnocchi with cavolo nero and cream only with pasta instead of gnocchi and kale instead of cavolo nero! Plus, I also decided to up the protein content with the addition of some smoked salmon. I figured that the smoked salmon would definitely go with the cream, and the smoky flavour would probably be good with the kale, too. 

My daughter Kipper is a big fan of smoked salmon (there was very nearly none to go into the sauce!) so I was confident she would like part of this dish at least. I was less certain about her reaction to the kale, but it was sufficiently infused with oniony, smoky cream that she scoffed it down. I must confess to feeling a bit smug, getting my pre-schooler to yum down a plate of leafy greens!

Quick & efficient!

Another big advantage of this dish is that’s it’s super-quick to make. You can rustle up the sauce in less time than it takes to boil the pasta, so as fast and tasty mid-week dinners go, it’s a winner. I think this will be my go-to recipe whenever the kale shows up in the veg box from now on. This, or a variation on it, in any case. I might try substituting miscellaneous foodstuffs in place of the smoked salmon next time. I’ll keep you posted.

This made enough for two adults and a small person. There were no leftovers…

Quick to make, delicious to eat! Super-veg kale is cooked with caramelised onions, cream & smoked salmon, to create a gorgeous sauce for pasta. Yum!

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Creamy smoked salmon & kale pasta

Course Main Course
Cuisine European, Italian
Keyword kale, pasta, quick, smoked salmon
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 2
Author Helen


  • 225 g bunch kale (or thereabouts) (approx. 8 oz.)
  • 150 g pasta bowties or similar short pasta (approx. 1 1/2 cups)
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small onion
  • 200 ml double cream (scant 1 cup)
  • 85-100 g smoked salmon (3-3.5 oz)
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper


  • Wash the kale thoroughly. Remove the white ‘rib’ from the centre of each leaf, and then cut the leaves crosswise into 1cm strips. Set aside.
  • Put the pasta to cook in a large pan of boiling water.
  • Peel and finely slice the onion, and place in a shallow pan with the butter and olive oil. Cook over a low heat until everything is very soft but not browning, about 3-4 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to the boil. Blanch the kale for 1 minute, then drain well and add to the onion mixture. Turn up the heat slightly and mix well. Cook for a further 3-4 minutes.
  • Stir the cream into the kale and onions, mix well, and reduce the heat to a minimum. Cover and continue to cook until the pasta is done. Cut the smoked salmon into small pieces.
  • Drain the pasta. Add the smoked salmon and black pepper to the kale, then toss in the pasta. Combine everything together and serve at once.

No kale? No problem! Try this delicious creamy salmon pasta with peas or this salmon, leek and dill pasta instead. You might also like this fabulous fish pie pasta bake or this salmon, broccoli and tomato pasta bake.

smoked salmon & kale pasta

And if you just can’t get enough leafy greens, how about Sicilian-style kale with capers, pine nuts, currants and lemon, or delicious cavolo nero and hazelnut pesto.

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  1. Pingback:Cavolo nero & hazelnut pesto - Family-Friends-Food

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