Lemon & Dill Pasta & Pan Fried Salmon & Tomato Salad


By MasterChef UK contestant James Bacon @jamesbaconcooks

Cherry Tomato and Basil Salad

  • Cherry tomatoes - estimate a handful per person and use a variety of colours to keep it vibrant
  • A couple of sprigs of basil
  • 2-3 tbs of olive Oil
  • 1tsp- 2tsp of salt
  • A pinch of ground black pepper


  1. Prepare the tomato salad first so the salt can bring out flavour of the tomatoes. Cut the cherry tomatoes in to quarters and roughly chop the basil, place in a medium sized mixing bowl and stir in the salt and olive oil.
  2. This dish relies on its seasoning - the salt and oil really bring the flavours together. A good quality olive oil will really enhance the tomatoes flavours while salt should draw out the juice to intensify their flavour. Season well.
  3. Set the dish aside.

Lemon & Dill Pasta with Pan fried Salmon Fillet

This beautiful Scandi-Italian dish is fantastic served both hot or cold making it the perfect summer meal. You could also box both elements up separately and have as part of a picnic! The base of the sauce is a velvety crème fraiche with dill spiked with lemon making it cooling, light and zingy, which is beautifully offset by the heat of the chilli and smoky warmth of the salmon - perfect summer food!

Kitchen tools needed: Cole & Mason herb cutter and bowl Cole & Mason Saunderton spice shaker, frying pan, saucepan, zester.

Ingredients for the Smoked Salmon and Dill Pasta, pan fried Salmon

  • 100g of your favourite pasta (I used orecchiette)
  • 100g of smoked salmon (cut in to 1cm pieces)
  • 100g crème fraiche
  • 1 lemon (zest and juice)
  • Medium bunch of dill
  • 1 red chilli, finely chopped
  • 1 small garlic clove finely grated
  • A drizzle of olive oil
  • A pinch of sea salt
  • 2 salmon fillets


  1. To make the pasta dressing, zest the whole lemon on a fine grater and place in a mixing bowl, along with the crème fraiche. Halve the lemon and squeeze all of the juice into the bowl. Add a small clove of finely grated garlic for a little warmth (optional).
  2. Roughly chop the dill in the herb hachoir and add to the mixing bowl.
  3. Finely chop the chilli - de-seed for a little less heat and add to the mixing bowl. Season well with sea salt, black pepper and a good shake of the Saunderton spice shaker’s chilli flakes! Set the dressing aside
  4. Boil the pasta according to the shape until al dente, or not too soft
  5. Heat up your frying pan with a little oil, and place the salmon fillets skin side down, and cook on this side for 5 mins. Turn the salmon and cook for a further 2 mins until golden. This dish can be made with steamed, grilled or pan fried salmon.
  6. Drain the pasta once cooked, reserving some of the starchy pasta water - this will help to loosen the sauce if it feels too thick.
  7. Into the mixing bowl tear the smoked salmon into bitesize pieces and incorporate not the dressing, I like to leave this stage as close to adding to the pasta, so as not to over cure/ cook the salmon in the acidic sauce. This can make the salmon a little tougher.
  8. Mix the sauce not the pasta with a good drizzle of good quality olive oil, and add some of the pasta water if necessary - the sauce should coat the pasta but not stick it together! If taking for a a picnic the dish can be ready at this stage making it easer to transport - but to turn it into a show stopping summer dish continue to the next step.
  9. Serve on a plate or a shallow bowl, and top with the golden fillet of salmon from the pan. Dress with dill, a little lemon zest, a shake of dried chillis and a drizzle of oil.

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