Salmon in a White Wine & Dill Sauce with Linguini

Extract from Fearless Food © Lynda Booth 2017

When I started giving classes from my home kitchen, the same core group used to come for a whole season of evening courses. I was kept on my toes coming up with new material. One of the students asked me for dinner one night and gave me a wonderful pasta dish with salmon and dill in a fish “velouté.” sauce. When I asked her for the recipe, she pulled out a printed copy. I creased up laughing as it was one of my own from the previous year. How different it tasted with a glass of white wine in my hand and having someone else cook it. If you give it a go, don’t hesitate to issue me an invitation. I’ll bring the wine!

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To prepare the Salmon in a White Wine & Dill Sauce with Linguini

Place the first five ingredients in a saucepan and boil to reduce to about 3 tablespoons. Remove the dill stems and bay leaf and discard. Add in the stock, boil to reduce by half, then pour in the cream and reduce again by about a quarter. Season, add a squeeze of lemon juice and the chopped dill. This white wine sauce can be made in advance and refrigerated.

Remove the skin and any small bones from the salmon. Dry with kitchen paper. Cut the fish into large bite-sized cubes. Heat the olive oil in a non-stick frying pan and when hot, add the salmon. Season with salt, sear for a couple of minutes and then deglaze the pan with the Noilly Prat. Boil for 30 seconds before pouring in the white wine sauce. Turn the pieces over in the sauce and simmer gently for a few minutes.

Meanwhile, bring a large saucepan of water to the boil. For 4 litres of water, add 1 1/2 tablespoons of salt. Cook the pasta until al dente. Drain, keeping back some of the pasta water. Return the pasta to the pot, add a good knob of butter and a generous dash of pasta water. Pour about half of the sauce from the pan into the pasta and simmer for a minute or so.

Scoop the pasta onto each plate and spoon over the remaining sauce along with the chunks of salmon. Sprinkle with some extra chopped dill and serve immediately.

NOTE: Monkfish works very well as an alternative to salmon. Scallops may also be caramelised in the pan and served alongside.


  • Serves 4

175ml dry white wine
1 shallot, finely chopped
3 cracked black peppercorns
4 dill stems
1 bay leaf
200ml fish stock, chicken stock (or Marigold bouillon)
250ml cream
2 tbsp chopped dill, plus extra for serving
good squeeze lemon juice
800g salmon
1 tbsp olive oil, for cooking the salmon
75ml “Noilly Prat”* or other dry vermouth (optional)
280g tagliatelle
a generous knob of unsalted butter, for tossing with the pasta

*Noilly Prat is a brand of French vermouth used extensively in fish sauces. It can also be used as a replacement for white wine in risottos.

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