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Baked Pasta With Salmon

In this baked pasta with salmon dish from Steven Guarnaccia's new book The Story of Pasta, shell-shaped conchiglie serve as a base for vegetables and fish in a creamy sauce.

baked pasta dish

Creamy salmon conchiglie bake. Photo: © 2023 by Simon Bajada. Reproduced by permission of Phaidon. All rights reserved.

This baked pasta with salmon recipe comes from The Story of Pasta, available now from Phaidon Press. The book, with colorful illustrations and insightful storytelling by artist and author Steven Guarnaccia, is aimed at children, but it's enjoyable for all. As he notes in the introduction to this recipe in the book, "conchiglie" is Italian for shells, and it's popular because its bowl shape and ridged exterior creates plenty of surface to hold the sauce. (To read more about the author, check out our feature, Steven Guarnaccia Tells 'The Story of Pasta.')


Shells in the ocean are great at holding pearls. And conchiglie on your plate are great for holding sauce! For spicier or bolder flavors, add chili, paprika, pesto, or chopped dill, parsley, or basil to the sauce. Be sure and read the tips in the "Notes" section below for ways to add more vegetables or try alternative shapes to make this an especially memorable baked pasta with salmon dish you'll return to again and again.

Creamy Salmon Conchiglie Bake

Creamy Salmon Conchiglie Bake

Recipe by Heather Thomas
0.0 from 0 votes
Course: MainCuisine: American
Servings

4

servings
Prep time

15

minutes
Cooking time

45

minutes

Ingredients

  • 3 1/2 cups 3 1/2 (9 oz) dried conchiglie

  • 10 oz 10 broccoli, trimmed and cut into florets

  • 4x3 1/2 oz 4x3 1/2 skinned and boned salmon fillets, cut into large pieces

  • 1/4 cup 1/4 (3⁄4 oz) panko or dried breadcrumbs

  • For the creamy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons 2 butter, plus extra for greasing

  • 1/4 cup 1/4 (1 oz) all-purpose flour

  • 2 cups 2 (16 fl oz) milk

  • 4 4 anchovy fillets

  • 1 cup 1 (3 oz) grated Parmigiano Reggiano or Cheddar cheese

  • 3 tablespoons 3 crème fraîche

  • 1 teaspoon 1 wholegrain mustard (optional)

  • Salt and pepper

Directions

  • Preheat the oven to 375°F.
  • Bring a large pan of salted water to a boil. Add the conchiglie and cook according to the package directions, but 4 minutes before the end of the stated cooking time, add the broccoli to the pan and cook with the pasta until just tender. Place a colander in the sink, then carefully pour in the cooked pasta and broccoli to drain.
  • Meanwhile, make the creamy sauce. Melt the butter in a medium pan over low heat. Stir in the flour with a wooden spoon until you have a soft paste (called a roux). Cook for 2 minutes, stirring to stop it browning. Start adding the milk, a little at a time, whisking between additions, until you have added all the milk and the sauce is smooth.
  • Increase the heat to medium and cook for 5 minutes, still stirring, until the sauce thickens and coats the back of the spoon.
  • Add the anchovies, half the cheese, crème fraîche, and mustard (if using) and mix well. Season to taste with salt and pepper—go easy on the salt since the anchovies are quite salty. Take the pan off the heat and gently stir in the cooked pasta and broccoli.
  • Lightly grease a large ovenproof dish with butter and add the salmon in a single layer. Pour in the pasta and broccoli mixture, and sprinkle with the rest of the grated cheese and the breadcrumbs. Bake for 25–30 minutes, until the sauce is bubbling and the top is crispy and golden brown. Serve immediately.

Notes

  • TIP: Use 2–3 salmon fillets and add more vegetables—such as cauliflower florets, thickly sliced leeks, spinach, mushrooms, or cherry tomatoes—to bulk out the dish.
  • Try these alternatives: You can use any medium-size pasta shapes, including penne, fusilli, and farfalle. Use fresh breadcrumbs instead of dried. To make the sauce creamier, stir in soft cream cheese or mascarpone.
  • Excerpted from The Story of Pasta © 2023 by Steven Guarnaccia, with recipes by Heather Thomas. Photography © 2023 by Simon Bajada. Reproduced by permission of Phaidon. All rights reserved.

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