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Orecchiette with salmon, spinach, tomatoes & lemon

Rowena Dumlao-Giardina resides in Italy, cooking and photographing her family's interesting meals on Apron and Sneakers. After moving to Italy in 1999 from the Philippines, she has traveled extensively around the country and the rest of ...

Those little Italian ears can catch everything!

Orecchiette are ear-shaped pasta with a central depression to catch the sauce better. There's no better way to take all the goodness of this scrumptious sauce straight to your mouth!

Those little Italian ears can catch everything!

This is a very easy and healthy pasta to put together that will reward you with the delicious flavor of salmon accentuated with a delicate lemony taste.

Orecchiette with salmon, spinach, tomatoes & lemon recipe

Serves 4


  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 11 ounces smoked salmon, sliced to smaller pieces
  • 5 ounces bottled roasted peppers, chopped
  • 1/8 cup brandy
  • 4 ounces cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered depending on the size
  • 1/2 cup cream
  • 1 cup spinach, chopped
  • 1 lemon, zest only
  • Pepper
  • Salt
  • 1 pound orecchiette (or other small pasta)


  1. Over medium heat in a large saucepan with extra-virgin olive oil, saute the garlic. When it turns golden, discard.
  2. Add the salmon to the oil and cook for 5 minutes.
  3. Add the roasted peppers and cook for another 5 minutes.
  4. Pour in the brandy, then turn the heat to high and cook until the alcohol evaporates.
  5. Turn down the heat to medium, then add the tomatoes. Cook for 2 minutes, then add the cream. Let it cook for 10-15 minutes. Add the spinach at the end of cooking, then season with salt and pepper.
  6. While waiting for the sauce to cook, bring a big pot of water to a boil. When the water boils, add some salt and the pasta. Follow the cooking time suggested on the packaging. When the pasta is cooked, drain but reserve about a cup of the water used in cooking.
  7. Mix the cooked pasta with the sauce. Add a little water used in cooking the pasta to make it a little bit creamy.
  8. Drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil, then serve while still hot.

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