20 Minute Date Night Tagliatelle and Pan-Fried Salmon

There is nothing sexier than a salmon steak sitting on a bed of pasta and that is that.

Throw in a glass of Pinot Grigio and I am all yours honey. We could do without the family members crowding up my ~creative working space~ which also functions as a kitchen and living room area but I don’t think any one of us budgeted on being holed up in an apartment together in Washington DC in summer. Too stuffy to stay inside but too humid to hang around outside and so inside we go because inside is where the AC is.

Fear not, my friends, for the end is nigh. Soon we will be dining by candlelight, sipping cocktails on rooftops and slurping slushies on perfectly manicured park lawns. Until then, it’s time to dust off your grandmother’s candelabra, polish the fancy silverware and excavate the expensive china – it’s date night.

For all the effort you put into setting your table (*cough cough* here’s an example), this recipe will be a cake slice. You cook the pasta, you cook the salmon, you throw some sundried tomatoes and spinach in some cream and you’re done. No frills, no fuss, no words from your date who’ll be blown away by your culinary skills. The only real danger is overcooking the salmon but I’ll help you navigate that pitfall in the instructions. This recipe is ideally for 2 people, or 1 person if you’re just hungry and lonely but it’s not my job to judge.

And here, a meme for your troubles. Go forth and enjoy your dinner.

20 Minute Date Night Tagliatelle and Salmon

serves 2 people


  • about ¼ cup olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 salmon steaks
  • 4 baskets of tagliatelle (roughly 4 oz.)
  • ¼ cup white wine (optional)
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 3 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 3 tbsp chopped sun dried tomatoes (optional)
  • 1 cup spinach, roughly chopped
  • ¼ cup full cream
  • ½ tsp dried thyme
  • ½ tsp dried rosemary
  • ½ tsp dried basil


  1. Take the fillets out of the fridge and allow to come to room temperature before you start cooking. Pat dry with a paper towel. In a small bowl, season the fillets liberally with salt and pepper and drizzle generously with about half of the olive oil. Massage gently for 30 seconds and allow to sit whilst you cook the pasta.
  2. Fill a 4 quart. pot with water and salt very generously (we’re talking about 1-2 tbsp of salt here, don’t be shy). Allow to come to a rolling boil before adding the tagliatelle baskets. Follow the packet instructions for how long to boil the pasta but it’s generally about 13 minutes for tagliatelle to come to al dente texture.
  3. Drain the pasta in a colander and toss with half of the remaining olive oil (this means you’ll be using a quarter of the original amount, leave some behind for the salmon). Set aside whilst you cook the steaks.
  4. Heat a large frying pan on high heat. Prior experience has taught me that it would be best to turn on your kitchen fan at the same time to avoid any fire alarm oopsies – trust me the hot pan is the key to the crispy skin. Once hot, add the remaining olive oil to the pot and immediately follow with the salmon steaks skin-side down. Step back, breathe, and allow to cook until the bottom starts to turn a lighter pink, about 4 minutes before flipping carefully and cooking for another 3 minutes until fully cooked through. Remove to a plate and keep warm until serving.
  5. Add another drizzle of olive oil to the pan and add the garlic and sundries tomatoes to the pan. Cook until garlic is fragrant, about 2 minutes. If using the wine, pour into the same pan that you cooked the salmon in and stir with a wooden spoon to deglaze the pan and scoop up all that yummy goodness. Reduce the heat on the pan to medium-high and throw in the spinach, cream, thyme, rosemary and basil. Once boiling, reduce the heat to low, cooking until spinach is fully wilted. Toss the tagliatelle with the cream sauce until coated. Divide the pasta between the serving bowls and top with the salmon. Pour any residual sauce on the top. Bon appetit!

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