We’re only two days in, but July is off to a steamy start! So, this month, we’re featuring easy three-ingredient pastas ideal for hot summer nights. First up, Katie from Katie at the Kitchen Door shares her recipe for rotini with salmon, creme fraiche and capers. Doesn’t it look incredible? Here’s how to (quickly) cook up a bowl of your own…

Pasta with Salmon, Creme Fraiche and Capers
by Katie Morris of Katie at the Kitchen Door

July is not the month to be spending long hours in the kitchen (although I should probably write that down and hang it up above my stove to remind myself). Instead it’s a good month for simple dinners that can be whipped up in 15 minutes or less, allowing you to spend more time outside enjoying the daylight—or languishing in front of the AC, if that’s more your style. So I’m thrilled to share this easy combination of smoked salmon, crème fraîche and capers.

I decided that smoking my own salmon was absolutely necessary, negating the whole principle of simplicity. (In my defense, the end result was glorious, and at least smoking is something you can do outside on the patio with a beer in hand.) That said, you certainly don’t need to go that route to enjoy this delicious and summery pasta! Store-bought salmon will work just fine.

The combination of salmon and crème fraîche make this pasta very rich, but if you’re looking to take things a step further, a little lemon, a handful of blanched English peas, or a small amount of finely-chopped red onion certainly wouldn’t go amiss in this recipe.

Recipe: Pasta with Salmon, Crème Fraîche and Capers
Serves 3-4

What you’ll need:

½ lb fusili or rotini pasta
½ cup crème fraîche
1 tbsp capers
6 oz smoked salmon, flaked into bite-sized pieces with a fork
sea salt and black pepper to taste

Cook your pasta according to package directions in heavily salted water. Drain, and let cool slightly. (You want your pasta to be warm but not steaming when you mix the crème fraîche in, so that it coats the pasta but doesn’t melt completely.) When it reaches this warm stage, add the crème fraîche to the pot and stir to coat the pasta. Stir in the capers.

When ready to serve, spoon the pasta onto three or four plates, and top each with 1 to 2 ounces (about ¼ cup) of smoked salmon pieces. Season to taste with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. This dish can be served warm, room temperature or chilled.

Thanks so much, Katie!

P.S. More best recipes, including four fall pastas and the secret to great sauce.

(Photos and recipe by Katie Morris. Thanks to Caroline Donofrio for her help with his series)