smoked salmon carbonara [giveaway]

A few weeks ago, I got a nice email from the folks at Rushing Waters Fisheries in Wisconsin asking if I’d be interested in trying some of their smoked fish. I was hesitant at first, because I usually try to avoid farm-raised seafood, when possible. But after doing some research I found out that while Rushing Waters is a salmon and trout farm, they use all natural and organic farming practices and truly care about the fish they raise and the end product.Β  They actually still harvest each and every fish by hand! Something almost completely unheard of in today’s fish farming industry. After learning of their responsible practices, I signed on to review their products.

I was incredibly impressed with the quality, flavor and variety of the products they provided. I’m a big fan of smoked fish and this stuff was no exception! It was just as good as my sister’s world-famous smoked salmon that she makes for us every Christmas. And that’s saying a lot!

Rushing Waters sent me a ton of fish and while I’m a big fan of just simply having some smoked salmon on crackers, I knew I needed some fun recipes to divvy out the haul. The first of those dishes is this smoked salmon carbonara. I took my classic spaghetti alla carbonara recipe, cleaned it up and added some flavorful, flaky salmon. The end result is guilt-free comfort food at it’s best. I’m sure you guys are sick of hearing about how good salmon is for you, but let me give you just a little reminder. Salmon is packed with lean protein and omega-3 fatty acid, which helps keep your brain, eyes and heart all in tip-top condition. The American Heart Association recommends we get two to three servings of oily fish like salmon a week. This recipe will help you reach that mark.

Oh! And I forgot to mention, it comes together in like 2.2 seconds 10 minutes. Perfect for a weeknight dinner. Now this is some fast food I can get behind.

Smoked Salmon Carbonara

by Cassie Johnston

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 5 minutes

Makes: 4 servings


  • 10 ounces whole grain thin spaghetti
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 8 ounces smoked salmon
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 egg whites (about 1/4 cup)
  • 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan
  • Salt and pepper, to taste


  1. Cook spaghetti according to directions, omitting salt and fat. Before draining, reserve 2 cups of pasta water.
  2. In a Dutch oven over medium heat, heat olive oil and add garlic. Cook until garlic is softened, about 3 minutes. Add in salmon and cook until salmon is warmed.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together eggs and egg whites.
  4. Remove Dutch oven from heat and add cooked spaghetti. Stir to evenly distribute salmon and garlic.
  5. While stirring briskly, stream in eggs until egg is no longer slimy-looking and thickens. Add in pasta water, 1/2 cup at a time, until pasta is creamy and saucy.
  6. Divide pasta into four bowls, divide cheese on top of the pasta.
  7. Taste for seasoning and add salt and pepper if necessary. Both the salmon and cheese are salty, so you might not need to add any salt.
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Want to win some goodies from Rushing Waters for yourself? I’ve got the hookup! They’ve offered to give away a sampler pack to one lucky fish-lovin’ BTHR reader. If you win, you’ll receive five-eight ounce fillets of their line of salmon and trout flavors. The lemon-dill is my favorite!

Can’t wait to try out Rushing Waters’s products? You can purchase them at Roundy’s Supermarkets and Whole Foods in the South and Midwest.

Now let’s win some fish!

giveaway rules, regs and how to enter:

  • This contest is open to U.S. residents age 18 or over only.
  • There will be one winner of the Rushing Waters sampler pack.
  • To enter: leave a comment here telling me what you’d do with all that delicious smoked fish. Help a girl out! Links to recipes would be greatly appreciated. :)
  • Entries close on January 31, 2012.

official rules and legalese:

To enter you must be 18 or older and a valid U.S. Resident. Winner will be chosen by random drawing from the pool of comments on this post. To be considered for the prize, you must provide a valid email address. Once a winner is notified and verified, Rushing Waters will be provided with the contact information of the winner and they will be responsible forΒ  prize fulfillment. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. To enter, leave a comment on this post stating what you’d do with the prize if you won. No purchase necessary to win. Entries will close on January 31, 2012 at noon (EST). The winner will be contacted by email on or before February 2, 2012. If the winner does not claim the prize within seven days, the original winner forfeits the prize and a second random entry will be chosen from the pool. This contest is sponsored by Rushing Waters Fisheries of Wisconsin and is void where prohibited by law.


In exchange for this blog post, as well as posting this giveaway, I was compensated with one sampler pack and two tubs of spread. My review of the product was not biased or influenced in any way by this compensation.

Good luck!


  1. Shelley says

    I’d make Dorie Greenspan’s Salmon Rillettes!(

    I saw her at a library conference two summers ago, and she made this for the audience. It was so good that my friend and I had to make it when we got back home.

    A simple dinner of salmon rillettes, good bread, and an all green salad is amazing; finishing it off with a slice of lemon chiffon cake made it divine.

  2. says

    This looks delicious Cassie and I’m adding it to my Pinterest recipe board. I love salmon but only get it at restaurants. If I were to pick up smoked salmon at my local Kroger where would you recommend I get it – the fresh seafood counter, freezer section ??? Thanks, I’m clueless when it comes to seafood at the grocery store.

    • Cassie says

      When I get it at Kroger, they have a little case near the seafood counter that has crabmeat, fish spreads and smoked salmon in it. :) That’s where I get it!

  3. says

    Hmmm I haven’t cooked with salmon very much, so if I were to win this giveaway I’d probably start looking at awesome blogs like yours for ideas!

    But I would still love to win this. I love salmon and don’t cook with it or eat nearly enough, especially considering its health benefits. And I know my dad loves smoked fish, so I would definitely share some with him!

    Also, I live in Wisconsin, so it would be great to win and they wouldn’t have to send that fish too far :-) Yay for supporting local businesses!

  4. Kalyn says

    I’ve never eaten salmon so I’m not sure what I would do with it…start out by just eating it with crackers, maybe make some sandwiches, and that carbonara looks great!

  5. says

    After years of being anti-salmon, I’m finally back on the salmon train so I would definitely make use of this prize! I think the first thing I would use it for is to make some salmon burgers. I saw a package of salmon burgers at Costco last weekend, and I’ve been craving them ever since.

  6. rachel says

    Gotta be honest – I’ve never had smoked salmon. (sad face) Smoked salmon wasn’t a staple back in east ky where I grew up so I never learned to eat it!

    I’m positive I’d love it though because as much as I love fish, cooking it sort of freaks me out. Seems like the best of both worlds!

    I’d love to experiment and see what I can come up with. Right after I put it on top of a cream cheese bagel though! haha

  7. Laura says

    I would love to win the sampler pack!! If I won I would make the recipe in this post and also spread some on crackers. Not very creative, but I’m sure I could find some other recipes on pinterest too. :)

  8. Neena says

    I absolutely LOVE smoked salmon and would love to win the sampler pack. My favorite way to eat smoked salmon is flaked into an egg scramble with carmelized onions. Such a great combo, especially when served with a toasted bagel on the side!

  9. Jenny says

    Well, besides using it to make your carbonara (which sounds awesome btw!), I like to roll out 1 layer of puff pastry kinda thin, cut it into 4 rectangles, spread half of each section with herbed cream cheese, top with chopped asparagus and salmon, then fold over and pinch edges. I bake it according to the pkg directions and the pastry is browned. It’s like a hot pocket for grown-ups! I’ve made this with diced cooked chicken too with good results :)

  10. Lola says

    The first thing I thought to do with the smoked fish is to make a really awesome salad. The Duluth Grill in Duluth, MN has a seriously crave worthy smoked salmon salad. I think that’d be the first thing I do. So tasty.

  11. Lara ZP says

    I absolutely LOVE smoked fish. And, sorry to be boring, but I love it in its truest form, just fish and crackers or a nice fresh piece of pita bread…to die for!

  12. says

    i love smoked fish! i life in wisconsin, but i’ve never heard of this company…i’ll have to look into it!

    if i won, i’d have plenty of salmon + cream cheese + toast breakfasts, salmon, cream cheese, spinach omelettes, or just let my friends go at it with crackers during our monthly game night. :)

  13. Brenda B says

    Yummo – I would of course, as well try your carbonara…and I’ve been wanting to try those salmon lasagna rollups you did awhile back. I love omelettes – mostly do just spinach and egg…but salmon would be a great addition to them.
    I also shy away from making salmon at home – it’s hard to find salmon that I feel “confident” in knowing where it actually came from…but I love it and regardless if I win or not – I am definately going to order some from Rushing Waters! I love your blog! Thanks for sharing so much with us! You are terrific and I cannot wait to hear more and am so happy for your decision to go to culinary school…good luck!

  14. says

    YUM! I looove smoke salmon and would use it for bagels and lox (loaded with cream cheese, capers, onions, and tomatoes). Plus, I would enjoy this all to myself as the husb does not eat fish (muahaha).

  15. Athena says

    I don’t eat meat anymore, but Honey would be in heaven with this. I would make him some of your carbonara. He would probably enjoy it on bagels with some capers and cream cheese and I also think he would like it made into some type of salad of the mayo based

  16. Savita says

    This carbonara recipe sounds delicious! I would eat smoked salmon with crackers and mango peach salsa. It would be a fun and delicious appetizer for the Super Bowl! Go Giants!!!!

  17. Melissa B. says

    Awesome! I would love to make your salmon carbonara, and of course the smoked fish would be delicious on some bagels or flat bread with cream cheese and chives :)

  18. says

    I’ve been looking for an awesome carbonara recipe ever since I tried it for the first time last month. Can’t wait to make this :) Although I’m not a huge salmon fan, so I’ll probably just make it plain.

  19. says

    I love salmon so much, in all it’s forms. In fact, I’m eating some leftover baked salmon as I type this! But smoked salmon is most definitely my favorite.

    If I were to win the sample pack, I’d try my hand at these salmon puffs I found the other day: (although according to the reviews it needs a little tweaking… I’d maybe use goat cheese or cream cheese instead of the feta… *Shrug*) What a great giveaway, Cassie! Thanks for sharing your recipe AND the info about Rushing Waters. I’ll def keep my eye out for them next time I go to Whole Foods.

  20. Jillian says

    I’d love to use these products to make some different types of smoked fish dips! When my husband was stationed in FL we loved getting smoked fish dip at a local restaurant near our hometown. I’d love to whip up some of my own at home!

  21. Camara says

    oh yum! I’ve recently moved to connecticut, right outside of nyc, from west virginia. Have you had smoked salmon on an everything bagel with cream cheese? Heaven I tell you, heaven.

  22. says

    My favorite way to prepare smoked salmon is in a dip I learned how to make this summer. If I won a sampler pack, I am sure we would try to use it in salmon patties.

  23. Cee says

    I would just put together an appetizer plate with little pumpernickel toasts, capers, slices of lemon, cream cheese or creme fraiche, thinly sliced purple onion, and maybe slices of tomato. Because it’s my preference, I’d also have pickled okra on the side (odd, but good). Or I’d serve it with buttered toast and a soft boiled egg. Thanks for the giveaway!

  24. Shanda says

    Smoked salmon is like the world’s healthiest bacon, I would take just about any recipe and replace the bacon (when used more for flavor than for its drippings) like in your carbonara recipe. I bet this would be amazing with some quinoa, asparagus, and basil!

  25. Shannon says

    Well, Yummers! After just nibbling my brains out, I would have to try the smoked salmon as an adapted version of this Fish with Creamy Leeks recipe :
    Especially since I’m exploring my Welsh roots and totally into leeks right now!

    And I could certainly see the Lemon-Dill salmon as part of a soup like this :

    And some smoked trout in a Spring Mix Salad with apples, dried cherries, toasted almonds and a creamy lemon dressing (maybe with some poppy seeds?) sounds mighty tasty!

  26. says

    OMG! This looks delicious! Personally, I would try a salmon croquette recipe! Orrr, eat it on a baguette with veggies and pesto :) Oh! Maybe stuff it with spinach and ricotta (a recipe I saw on the Whole Foods website). Or just it like candy πŸ˜€ Awesome food blog! I found you in search of some kind of meatball I think lol.

  27. Carly says

    Smoked fish is my favourite thing in the world – I blame it on my Canadian Jewish upbringing!

    I can think of a billion things I would do it with it, but to be honest, it most likely would just be put in my mouth :)

  28. Courtney says

    Now I’m officially drooling! I would love to experiment with new recipes and flavors. Fish usually intimidates the heck out of me, so I’d love the opportunity to win some to try out!

  29. Larissa says

    YUM! I’ve just begun overhauling my diet- 80% vegan, 20% lean, organic animal protein. So my favorite smoked salmon recipe is something a British friend taught me a few years ago and is super simple and delicious.

    The Millionaire’s Breakfast

    -Two slices of your favorite toasted bread
    -Mango chutney
    -Two slices of Bacon or Fakon
    -Smoked salmon
    -butter (optional)

    If your buttering, butter one side of one slice of toast. Spread mango chutney on one side of the second slice of toast. Pile on the bacon and smoked salmon. Delicious!!!

  30. Ashleigh says

    I’d eat it in an omelet for breakfast, then on a bagel with cream cheese for lunch and on a salad for dinner. Yum!

  31. says

    Oh yum! I would definitely make Philadelphia Sushi Rolls with the Smoked Salmon. I LOVE Philly Rolls with the smokiest of salmons and creamiest of cream cheese. I hate when I get Philly rolls and the amount of salmon is lacking…greatly. I would love to be able to make it the way I want it–huge chunks of salmon along side a semi-huge chunk of cream cheese–all rolled up in a semi-thin amount of rice and wrapped in the crispy, salty nori–YUM!

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