|Pasta with Smoked Salmon
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large yellow onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2/3 cup dry white wine or vermouth
1 8oz package cream cheese, cubed
1 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons tomato paste (concentrate)
1 tablespoon sugar, or more to taste
8-10oz smoked salmon (either hot or cold smoked works fine), cut in 1/2-inch pieces
salt, to taste
1 lb. dried pasta, tagliatelle, penne, or Bucatini suggested
lemon thyme or regular thyme, for garnish (optional)
Put a large pot of salted water on to boil. In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium heat and sauté the onion until golden and starting to caramelize, about 10-15 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté just until it loses its raw edge, about one minute more. Pour in the wine and bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Add the cream cheese, stirring until it melts, and then the cream. Bring the mixture to a gentle boil, stirring constantly. Reduce the heat slightly and stir in the tomato paste, sugar and smoked salmon. Cook, stirring frequently, for about 5 more minutes, until the sauce is quite thick. Taste and add salt and/or a little more sugar as needed.
Cook the pasta in the boiling salted water until just al dente. Drain the pasta, reserving a little of the pasta water. In a large bowl or the empty pasta pot, toss the pasta with the sauce, adding in a little of the pasta water if needed to help the sauce coat the noodles evenly.
Serve immediately, garnished, if you like, with few leaves of lemon thyme.