My Go To Dinner

I have been making a variation of this dinner for years. I love salmon, and I like to buy the wild caught but it’s not always in the budget. I have cooked salmon so many different ways over the years, but I usually come back to this method. It’s a combination of searing and roasting in a cast iron skillet. This NY Times Cooking post does a great job of explaining the many ways you can cook salmon. As with all cooking, finding the best way to do something is entirely up to you. I was taught a long time ago that all recipes are guides and not a set in stone list of linear instructions. Do what feels right or good to you.

I am paring the salmon with a simple pasta dish. This also varies depending on what is in the fridge. Today, I have mushrooms, shallots, and some canned organic tomatoes in juice. I will be using Wegmans Italian Classics Linguine (Wegmans will be its own post at some point, I LOVE Wegmans!) and I have some amazing crusty bread Torpedo Italian Bread from Martusciello’s Bakery in Rochester, NY. I buy the bread from a local Italian deli called Casa Italiana (This will also be its own post at some point, great subs!) in Canandaigua, NY.


First, I take the fish out to sit for about 15 minutes or so to let it get to room temperature. When I am ready to start cooking, I make sure I have a Spotify playlist playing. I can’t be messing with music while my hands are dirty and wet! Then, I turn on the oven to 400 to preheat. While that is going on, I prep my veggies and set them aside. I also start the pasta water on a lower heat and turn the heat on the cast iron skillet to med. I like to give the cast iron skillet about 5 minutes to get nice and hot. Next, I prep the fish. I put a light coating of olive oil on first and then season the fish with salt, pepper, smoked paprika, and cumin. The spices vary sometimes too. I have used chili powder or even a BBQ rub. IMG_5220

Next, I start the pasta sauce. I saute olive oil, shallots, and mushrooms until they get soft and then I put in the can of diced tomatoes and I add some sea salt. I lower the heat and let that all simmer for a 5 minutes or so. I then add some butter and a splash of red wine. I will vary the butter depending on what I have in the fridge. I love the Wegmans Truffle Finishing Butter, it has great flavor (I make another pasta with this – future post 😊). I like to add in garlic at different times depending on my mood. Sometimes I will add it with the shallots, sometimes I will toss it near the end to poach in the sauce. It’s fun to play with those flavors. 

img_5221.jpgOnce the skillet is hot, I place the fish on the skillet skin side up. I want to sear the top of the fish first. I do this for about 3 – 4 minutes. Once I flip the fish over (skin side down), I put it right in the oven for about 8 – 10 minutes.

While the fish is cooking I finish the pasta. The pasta only takes about 3 minutes in boiling water and I strain it and stir it in with the sauce and let that all simmer together. I add a good amount of parmesan/romano cheese for some good salty flavor.


Plate it and serve. My guilty pleasure is to include a little BBQ sauce on the side to img_5233.jpgaccompany the salmon. Serve with a little red wine, crusty bread and enjoy!

Let me know what you think.


Pasta Ingredients

  • Wegmans Linguine
  • Wegmans Organic Canned Tomatoes
  • Mushrooms
  • Shallots
  • Garlic
  • Wegmans Truffle Finishing Butter
  • Red Wine

Fish Preparation

  • Farm Raised Salmon – Wild Caught is preferred


  • Smoked paprika
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Cumin
  • Olive Oil
  • BBQ Sauce




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