Friday, December 10, 2010

Salmon Puttanesca

Today I am sharing my mother's Puttanesca sauce recipe. Nearly every Christmas Eve that I can remember, she makes this sauce to serve over pasta. Can you imagine what it would be like to not be able to feed your family this Christmas? I can't. This is why I am excited to tell you that I am one of over 60 food bloggers participating in a campaign to increase awareness of childhood hunger this holiday season.

Share Our Holiday Table is a virtual, seven day progressive dinner to help raise funds for children in need. Did you know that nearly 17 million children, or one in four, live in homes without sufficient food. As a mother of four, I want to make sure that my children are well-fed daily with healthy, nourishing foods and I know that I am not alone. All parents want this for their children.

Children need proper nutrition for their immune systems to function well, for proper brain development and growth, to be able to pay attention and learn in school, and to be able to run, skip, hop, and jump all day long!

Now we all have a chance to help nourish a child in need. Donate today. Even five dollars if that's all you can do. Every little bit helps.

Salmon Puttanesca

This recipe is best served in mid-summer when tomatoes are at their peak, but can also be made in the winter using either canned tomatoes or greenhouse grown. I use greenhouse grown because I just love the flavor and texture of this sauce when made with fresh tomatoes. You can add the salmon or not. My mom usually tops the sauce with sautéed shrimp (which my taste buds completely protest)! I find that wild king salmon works best for a recipe like this because of its thickness. Serve the sauce and salmon over gluten-free brown rice noodles or, for a grain-free option, serve over cooked spaghetti squash.

2 to 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 medium red onion, chopped
4 to 5 cloves garlic, crushed
1/2 cup dry red wine
5 cups diced tomatoes
1 to 2 teaspoons anchovy paste (optional)
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 tablespoons capers
1/2 cup pitted kalamata olives
one 9.9 ounce jar artichoke hearts, halved
pinch or two red chili flakes
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
chopped parsley for garnish

1 1/2 pounds King salmon, skin removed and cubed

Heat an 11 or 12-inch skillet over medium heat. Add oil then onions. Sauté onions for 5 to 10 minutes or until softened. Add the crushed garlic and sauté a minute more.

Add the red wine, then tomatoes, anchovy paste, and tomato paste. Stir together then cook, uncovered, for about 5 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Then add remaining ingredients and simmer for an additional 5 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve sauce over cooked brown rice noodles. Garnish with chopped parsley.

To cook the salmon, first season it well with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Then heat a skillet over medium-high heat for a few minutes until it is very hot. I use a cast iron skillet. Add a tablespoon of olive oil. Then add the salmon, but don't try to crowd in too many pieces at once. If you add too much the salmon doesn't sear and hold in its juices and then you get a watery mess in the pan. Do a 1/2 pound at a time for a 10-inch skillet. Sauté for only 2 to 3 minutes, turning each piece after a minute or so. Serve salmon atop the sauce and gluten-free noodles. Source:

More Wild Salmon Recipes:
Quinoa Salmon Burgers
Smoked Salmon and Yam Salad
Blanched Kale Salad, with Salmon and Pomegranate

About the Author

Alissa Segersten holds a Bachelor's of Science in Nutrition from Bastyr University. She is the founder of Whole Life Nutrition, the mother of five children, a whole foods cooking instructor, professional recipe developer, and cookbook author. She is passionate about helping others find a diet that will truly nourish them, and offers elimination diet recipes, healthy gluten-free recipes, paleo and vegan recipes, as well as tips for feeding your family a nourishing, whole foods diet. Alissa is the author of two very popular gluten-free, whole foods cookbooks and guidebooks: The Whole Life Nutrition Cookbook and Nourishing Meals. She is also the co-author of The Elimination Diet book. Connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram!


  1. This looks great, I'll definitely give this a shot!

  2. This looks delicious! My daughter LOVES salmon and LOVES pasta - so this is sure to be a hit! All the ingredients are mouth-watering! I usually serve salmon with rice, but this will be a nice change for us! Thanks for a great recipe!

  3. Always looking for new ways to eat salmon.

  4. Ali - yay! A seafood entree. I skirt around having to cook fish simply because I am so limited in seafood culinary talent. So thank you for this inspiration. Such a treat to be participating in this event with you!

    -Lexie | Lexie's Kitchen

  5. This looks great Ali. And easy! I'm going to make it tomorrow! Thanks for sharing!

  6. What a wonderful recipe, Ali! You know how much I love salmon. :-) It's so great to participate in this event with you and the other great bloggers. I hope that we make a huge difference!


  7. Wow, what a wonderful site! I love the variations/options. I recently made a lentil puttanesca which was my first experience w puttanesca. I adore it to bits! I love love salmon and am bookmarking this recipe w much anticipation.

  8. This looks really yummy! Love all the different flavours. Will have to add this to my meal plan for the week!


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Thanks and Happy Cooking! ~Ali :)