Asparagus, Smoked Salmon and Cream Cheese Pasta by Ren Behan

This pasta dish of asparagus, smoked salmon and cream cheese is very quick to make with just a few ingredients. Ren uses small penne tubes, though any small pasta shapes work well with this almost-instant cream cheese sauce.

Kids in the Kitchen

Pasta – This dish can be made with any pasta, so let your kids be boss and choose what shape/type you use. What if they want to use 2 different types with different boiling times?! The perfect mini math lesson. Don’t forget to use a timer, kids love waiting for a timer to go off and this will help you to remember to add the next type of pasta at the right time.

Asparagus – Keep those little fingers busy and let them have a go at chopping or even using their hands to break the asparagus spears into 1 inch pieces. If using a knife to chop, please be there to supervise your child.

Recipe Courtesy of Ren Behan author of Wild Honey and Rye

Serves: 2

Prep Time: 10 mins

Cooking Time: 8

Difficulty: Easy



  • 250g/ one cup dried Penne pasta, or other small shapes
  • One bunch/one cup fresh asparagus, chopped into one inch pieces
  • 200g/ 3/4 cup cream cheese, regular or light
  • A glug of olive oil
  • 120g (one small packet) smoked salmon
  • Fresh dill to garnish
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Cooking Method

  1. Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil. Once boiling, add in the pasta shapes and cook for 8 minutes, or according to the packet instructions.
  2. Two minutes before the end of cooking time, add the chopped asparagus to the water. Take out one cup of pasta water for the sauce. After two minutes, drain the pasta and asparagus.
  3. Add the cup of pasta water back into the same pan, stir in the cream cheese and a glug of olive oil, season with sea salt and pepper. Add in the cooked pasta and asparagus.
  4. Stir through the chopped smoked salmon, leaving a few pieces to garnish the top.

To Serve

  1. Sprinkle over the fresh dill and serve immediately.



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