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Under 30 Minutes

Farfalle Pasta with Smoked Salmon and Cream Cheese

The mild cream cheese perfectly balances the salty, intense flavors of the capers and salmon.

  • Prep:
  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 4
  • Yield: Serves 4
Farfalle Pasta with Smoked Salmon and Cream Cheese

Source: Everyday Food, March 2007


  • 12 ounces farfalle (bow-tie pasta)
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 1 small red onion, quartered and thinly sliced
  • 2 ounces bar cream cheese, cut into small pieces
  • 1/4 cup fresh dill, coarsely chopped, or 1 teaspoon dried dill weed
  • 2 tablespoons capers, drained and rinsed
  • 4 ounces smoked salmon, cut into bite-size pieces


  1. Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water until al dente, according to package instructions. Reserve 1/2 cup pasta water. Add onion to pot; immediately drain pasta mixture, and return to pot.

  2. Add cream cheese, dill, capers, and salmon to pasta. Toss, adding reserved pasta water a little at a time to create a thin sauce that coats farfalle (you may not need all the water). Season lightly with salt and pepper. Serve.

Reviews (17)

  • stanlucide 29 Oct, 2015

    That recipe is average at best. Add some tomato sauce. That's Pasta 101, Martha. Step it up.

  • sarahmroach 28 Dec, 2014

    This was good and I've made it a couple of times. Quick pasta dish that I usually make when I have a lot of dill to use up.

  • jennifer 13 Jun, 2013

    Simple. Delish. Couldn't have had a better recipe on-hand to try out, for an impromptu alfresco dinner. Prepared exactly, in no time at all. Served with lemon wedges and felt the little squeeze of citrus really perked up the flavor to perfection. Accompanied by a large bunch of arugula (simply dressed with lemon, oil, s&p), and will continue to do so - with, next to, on top of, whatever, it was perfect the food companion! Next, I'll try using my abundant chives (instead of onion), we'll see...

  • carmelp 4 Feb, 2013

    This was so good and surprisingly easy to make on a busy night. Just needed a few ingredients but a lot of flavor. I had a little leftover Pecorino Romano, which I shaved on top (with a vegetable pelt), Parmesan would of course also work. So delicious!

  • nouvelleadornments 19 Aug, 2012

    Delicious! Made this for lunch. We were out of capers, so I substituted green peas, which worked fine and cut back on the sodium.

  • saradono 31 Dec, 2010

    This is wonderful with steamed asparagus! And a little extra cheese on top didn't hurt. ;)

  • itzdb2312 7 Jun, 2010

    haha OK I guess i've never had smoked salmon. thanks :)

  • cmswigart 7 Jun, 2010

    To itzdb2312 - you don't need to cook smoked salmon!

  • itzdb2312 7 Jun, 2010

    this may be a stupid question but it didn't say how to cook the salmon? help! :)

  • Marjie43 7 Jun, 2010

    Try this by adding a little garlic, some frozen peas or tender asparagus and a little parmason cheese. If you have some fresh tomatoe, it will make it so delicious as well. This dish belongs among my favorites. Yummm!

  • dogsrule 11 Mar, 2010

    Very Good :)

  • epugy 29 Jan, 2010

    I just made this pasta dish and it was awesome! It tasted just like "panna" in Italy. I didn't have onion so instead i sauteed some broccoli florets in Dill, Oil

  • smd1227 13 Jan, 2010

    I am so glad I found this recipe. I used the Boursin cheese, as suggested, and added some asparagus, too. I didn't have a red onion, so I added some sauteed leeks. Holy Mackerel!!! It was out of this world. Thanks for the suggestions, everyone.

  • lauraaranda 21 Feb, 2009

    I am going to use this recipe but add spinach and rotel tomatoes to it....we'll see what happens. we can't eat bland food but we love salmon!

  • lapook 29 Apr, 2008

    I have made this dish several times now. It is a simple, delicious dish. I like to add cooked, chopped asparagus to the pasta.

  • foodgirl 16 Apr, 2008

    I had some boursin with garlic and herbs on hand and used that in place of the cream cheese. Now that's what I use, and I've made this recipe several times and love it!

  • cjincarolina 4 Apr, 2008

    I was thinking this would be great, but it definitely was not. It was just bland and practically tasteless. I was so disappointed because I had such high hopes for my dinner. I have left-overs and will try to jazz it up by adding more ingredients, like more dill, some garlic, and maybe parmesan cheese. Usually Martha's recipes are terrific, but, in my estimation, this was not. Claudia

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