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Salmon alla Vodka

If you are looking for a flavorful seafood dish for the holidays, Salmon alla Vodka is one to try this year. Salmon already has such a buttery flavor and combined with creamy Vodka sauce, I guarantee you’ll be scraping the pot to get every last drop.

This recipe does require some juggling. You’ll have to manage baking the salmon, simmering the Vodka sauce, and cooking the pasta. Read this recipe thoroughly before starting so you understand the timing. Or, to make it easier, use store-bought Vodka sauce.

  • Preheat the oven to 425F.
  • Prepare the vodka Sauce.
  • Place a large heavy pot over medium-high heat and add 2 tablespoons of the olive oil.
  • Add the onion and sauté until translucent, about 8 minutes.
  • Reduce the heat to medium-low and add the garlic and let it cook with the onions for 2 minutes.
  • Then add in the tomatoes, vodka, heavy cream, basil leaves, salt, pepper, and butter.
  • Stir the mixture until well combined.
  • Bring the sauce to a boil and then reduce it to a simmer.
  • Now would be the time to taste the sauce and add more cream if you like it creamier.
  • Let the sauce simmer for about 15 minutes stirring occasionally.
  • If it appears to be cooking to much, turn off the heat completely.
  • While the sauce is simmering, prepare the salmon.
  • Place the salmon skin side down on a foil covered sheet pan.
  • Rub the salmon with ¼ teaspoon of salt and 1 tablespoon of olive oil.
  • Place it in the oven to bake for 12 minutes.
  • When the salmon is done cooking remove it from the oven and set it aside to cool slightly to the touch.
  • Gently flake the salmon with a fork into bite size pieces.
  • All together add the salmon into the vodka sauce and gently stir.
  • Cook the salmon with the vodka sauce for an additional 3 minutes.
  • While you are cooking the vodka sauce and the salmon prepare the pasta according to the manufacturer's instructions.
  • Typically penne takes about 7 to 9 minutes to cook.
  • Drain the pasta and place it back into the pasta pot.
  • To serve, pour the Salmon alla Vodka over the cooked penne in the pasta pot and gently fold the pasta and sauce together.
  • Serve the pasta in shallow bowls and sprinkle it with the optional parsley.
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil for the sauce, plus 1 tablespoon olive oil for the salmon
  • 1 large white onion, finely chopped
  • 1 28-ounce canned crushed tomatoes (look for San Marzano)
  • 2 minced garlic cloves
  • ¼ cup vodka
  • ½ cup heavy cream (more if you like it really creamy)
  • 4 fresh basil leaves, whole
  • 1 teaspoon of salt for the vodka sauce, plus ¼ teaspoon salt for the salmon, plus more for the pasta water
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 pound fresh salmon filet with skin
  • 1 pound penne pasta
  • optional 2 tablespoons fresh Italian flat parsley, for garnish
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