Salmon Penne Alla Vodka Infused with Orange Flavor

Salmon Penne Alla Vodka Infused with Orange Flavor
Photo by Diana Andrews

Ready for a tasty new twist on a classic? This recipe combines salmon, tomato sauce, butter, and cream, a heavenly combination. Orange zest stirred in at the end adds a bright and unexpected flavor boost. And if that’s not enough, the dish comes together quickly for a speedy weeknight meal.

Salmon Penne Alla Vodka Infused with Orange Flavor | Sitka Salmon Shares

Active time: 25 min
Total time: 30 min
Serves: 4


  • Kosher salt
  • 1 pound penne
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ cup finely chopped shallot
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
  • ¼ cup vodka
  • ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, more to taste
  • 1 pound salmon, pin bones removed, skinned, and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • ¼ cup heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated fresh orange zest
  • For serving:
  • Coarsely chopped fresh dill, optional
  • Coarsely grated Ricotta Salata, optional


Cook the Pasta

In a large pot of well-salted water, cook the pasta to al dente according to package directions. Drain, return to the pot, and set aside.

Make the sauce

Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the shallot and cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent, about 1 minute. Add the garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until fragrant, about 30 seconds.

Raise the heat to high, add the tomatoes, vodka, and red pepper flakes and bring to a boil, stirring frequently. Lower the heat to medium, add the salmon and ½ teaspoon salt, and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until the salmon is opaque and cooked through, about 4 minutes.

Reduce the heat to low, add the cream, and cook, stirring occasionally, until warmed through, about 1 minute more. Off the heat, stir in the butter and orange zest and season to taste with salt. 


Add the sauce to the pasta and gently toss. Spoon the pasta into bowls, garnish with the dill and ricotta salata, and serve right away. 

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Pro Tips

Level it Up

Level it Up

Stir in a little silky crème fraîche for a slight tangy flavor. Fold 5 ounces of baby spinach into the pasta before adding the sauce for an all-in-one dinner. 

Change it Up

Change it Up

This recipe works especially well for 2 people if the ingredients are halved. Likewise, it doubles nicely for a larger party of 8.

Lighten it Up

Lighten it Up

Skip the cream and butter altogether and drizzle with heart-healthy extra virgin olive oil. 

Pair it Up

Pair it Up

Sangiovese, a light-bodied red wine from Italy, is a perfect match for the orange notes in this creamy tomato sauce.


*The information displayed is our analysis of the recipe based on its ingredients and preparation, and should not be considered a substitute for professional nutrition advice.

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