Salmon with Barilla Pasta, Zucchini, and Cherry Tomatoes

Tony Mantuano

Spiaggia, Chicago

This healthy and delicious recipe, created by JBF Award winner Tony Mantuano, was the winning dish of America Cooks with Chefs, our healthy cooking competition in partnership with the Clinton Health Matters Initiative. Find more healthy recipes at


  • 2 medium zucchini, sliced into 1/4-inch thick coins
  • 1 garlic clove, smashed and peeled
  • 2 cups halved cherry tomatoes
  • 4 basil leaves
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3/4 pound pasta  (chef Mantuano recommends orrechiette, penne, conchiglie, or gemelli)
  • Four 5-ounce salmon filets


Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the zucchini to the pot and cook for 3 minutes or until tender, but not falling apart. With a slotted spoon or hand strainer, carefully remove the zucchini from the pot, shaking off any excess water and transfer to a large bowl.

Add the garlic, cherry tomatoes, basil, oregano, vinegar, and 3 tablespoons olive oil to the bowl. Stir gently to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Cover with foil to keep warm and set aside until ready to serve.

Bring the pot of salted water back to a boil. Add the pasta to the pot and cook, stirring frequently until the pasta is al dente, about 2 minutes less than what is recommended on the box. Drain the pasta and transfer to the bowl with the zucchini mixture. Toss well to combine and allow the pasta to absorb the sauce. Quickly cover with foil to keep warm.

Meanwhile, heat a large non-stick sauté pan over medium-high heat. Rub the remaining tablespoon of olive oil on the flesh sides of the salmon filets and season with salt and pepper. Place the filets in the preheated pan, skin side up, cover tightly, and cook until the bottoms have a toasted, brown crust, about 3 to 4 minutes. Remove the cover, gently peel away the salmon skins, and discard.

To serve, remove the garlic from the pasta mixture and divide among 4 warm plates. Add a salmon filet, crust side up, to each plate. Drizzle any leftover sauce from the pasta over the fish. Serve immediately.


4 servings