We The Italians | Italian cuisine: Butterflies, Bowties, and Summertime Pasta

Italian cuisine: Butterflies, Bowties, and Summertime Pasta

Italian cuisine: Butterflies, Bowties, and Summertime Pasta

  • WTI Magazine #164 Jun 17, 2023
  • 1067

There’s a quote by Fabrizio Carmagna which says “Il poeta ama giocare con l’invisibile: prende l’aria intorno a una farfalla e costruisce il sorriso di un bambino.” This translates in English as “The poet loves to play with the invisible; he takes the air around a butterfly and constructs the smile of a baby.”

As a cook, when I think of butterflies in the summertime, I imagine the smiles that are conjured up not only by children, but of adults as well. It is with this spirit that I invite you to try my Farfalle (which means butterflies in Italian) con salmone recipe – enlived with parsley and fresh lemon, this lovely pasta dish will turn any late spring or summer gathering into a celebration.  

Note that you can make the fresh pasta in advance and freeze it before preparing the full recipe. Alternatively, if you are in a rush, you can use boxed pasta.

Farfalle con salmone/Bowtie Pasta with Smoked Salmon and Cream Sauce





          *        1 recipe (roughly 1/2 pound) Basic Pasta Dough (see below)

          *        1 teaspoon sea salt

          *        1/4 cup butter

          *        1 small yellow onion, diced

          *        1/2 cup cream

          *        Handful of fresh parsley, finely chopped

          *        Black pepper, freshly ground, to taste

          *        4 ounces smoked salmon, cut into strips

          *        Zest of 1 lemon

Basic Pasta Dough


          *        21/2 cups 00 (highly refined) flour or all-purpose flour, plus additional 1 cup for work surface

          *        4 jumbo eggs (10 ounces total)

          *        1 teaspoon salt


  1. Place the flour in a mound on a clean, dry work surface. Make a hole in the center and break the eggs into the middle. Using a fork, carefully mix the eggs together and incorporate a little flour into the eggs at a time.
  2. Add the salt, and mix well by hand to form a solid dough.
  3. Lightly flour the work surface, and knead and fold the dough energetically until it forms a smooth ball. Using your hands or a floured rolling pin, flatten out the dough to form a 10-inch diameter disk. Cover and set aside to rest for 30 minutes.
  4. Using a rolling pin, roll out the dough to form a rectangle about 12-inches long. Cut the rectangle into four equal pieces. Roll each piece on a lightly floured surface until it is  1/16-inch thick. Cut pasta sheets into desired shapes called for in your recipe. Refer to individual recipes in the next section for instructions on creating different shapes.
  5. Using a fluted-edge pastry wheel or a pizza cutter, cut the dough into 21/2-inch squares.
  6. To shape the farfalle, pinch each square in the middle with your thumb and index finger so they look like little bowties. Place each finished bowtie on a floured baking sheet and continue with remainder of dough.
  7. Bring a large pot of water to a boil, salt it, and add the farfalle. Cook for 2 minutes or until al dente (they should float to the top when done). Drain in a colander, and shake away excess water.
  8. Make the sauce by melting the butter in a large, wide, deep skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, stir well to coat with butter, and reduce heat to medium-low.
  9. Sauté, stirring occasionally, until the onion is very soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the cream, and whisk to combine. Stir in the parsley, black pepper, and smoked salmon with a wooden spoon.
  10. Allow to cook for 2 minutes, and take off the heat. Combine the pasta and sauce. Transfer to a serving platter, garnish with lemon zest, and serve immediately.

TIP: Pair this dish with a bottle of Pignoletto Classico Superiore or similar. From Grechetto Gentile grapes, this wine offers subtle floral aromas underlined by a full, fresh sip.