Tagliatelle with Smoked Salmon, Arugula and Capers Recipe

Tagliatelle with Smoked Salmon, Arugula and Capers

A traditional Roman working-class staple, Pasta con Aglio, Olio e Peperoncini, gets dressed up and gentrified. The addition of arugula to this recipe with its slightly peppery taste and smoked salmon takes this trustworthy dish to new elegant dimensions.

Yield: 4 servings

Time: 30 minutes


  • 5 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil plus 1 tsp to drizzle in the cooking water
  • 12 oz (340 g) tagliatelle pasta
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely minced
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper (chile) flakes
  • grated zest of one lemon
  • 4 Tbsp capers, rinsed and dried on paper towels
  • 1 bunch arugula, about 3 1/2 cups (175 g), washed and dried
  • 9 oz (250 g) sliced smoked salmon, cut into wide slivers
  • grated Parmesan cheese


Bring water to a boil in a large saucepan. Add salt and a teaspoon olive oil.

Pour remaining olive oil in a large frying pan and sauté the garlic and the chile flakes over medium-low heat for 1-2 minutes taking care not to let the garlic and chiles burn. They should only flavor the oil. Add the rinsed capers and lemon zest to the garlic-chile oil and give it a swirl. Keep it warm. Drain the tagliatelle and save 1 cup of the cooking liquid. Add the pasta to the flavored oil in the frying pan. Toss it well. If pasta seems dry, add the reserved cooking liquid bit by bit to develop a thicker sauce. Now add the arugula and smoked salmon. Toss gently taking care to keep arugula and salmon pieces neat.

Taste for salt and pepper, if necessary.

Serve in warm pasta bowls with Parmesan on top.

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