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Pasta with Salmon Caviar

4 main or 6 first-course servings.


Salmon or trout roe is delicious and much more affordable than sturgeon caviar.  It adds a delicate crunch to this luxurious pasta dish.  The Rosé of Pinot Noir would be a beautiful visual and flavor match.


1-pound bucatini or other long pasta such as spaghetti

4 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 tablespoon minced shallot

1/2 cup crème fraiche plus a little extra for garnish

2 tablespoons chopped parsley

2 teaspoons chopped fresh tarragon (1 teaspoon dried)

Freshly ground black pepper

4 ounces thinly sliced smoked salmon cut into 1/2-inch ribbons

4 ounces salmon caviar 

1/4 cup chopped chives


  1. Bring a large pot of salter water to a boil and cook the pasta until al dente. Reserve 1/2 cup of the pasta cooking water.
  2. In a large, deep skillet, melt the butter over moderate heat.
  3. When the foam subsides, add the minced shallot, and cook over moderately low heat for 2 minutes, stirring.
  4. Add the crème fraîche, parsley and tarragon. Stir in about 1/4 cup of the reserved pasta cooking water and season to your taste with pepper.
  5. Add the pasta and toss well. Add up to 2 more tablespoons of the reserved cooking water if the pasta seems too dry. Remove from the heat.
  6. Add the smoked salmon and three-fourths of the caviar and toss gently.
  7. Serve in shallow bowls, garnished with the remaining caviar, a little crème fraiche and chopped chives.



Photo by John Burgess, Santa Rosa Press Democrat

Recipe by John Ash:


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