We had this for dinner last night and I had to share it with you. Mackerel pasta is a really great dinner recipe and best of all it is simple, quick and easy to make; perfect for those evenings when you want a really lovely dinner but it’s also a little late and you don’t have too much energy left. You can almost make it in the time it takes to boil the pasta but be prepared as this is a dry pasta, there is almost not sauce, save for a little reserved pasta water to help lubricate the pasta and sauce.
As I said we had this last night, once I eventually got back from the gym and supermarket so it was a little late when I started making this delish pasta. One thing I like about Nigella Lawson’s pasta recipes is that you can generally bang them out in next to no time. We have had this recipe before and last time around I didn’t use the Marsala wine as it felt a little indulgent to buy a whole bottle of it for one recipe. This time I bit the bullet and got a bottle (£4.99 from Morrisons) and after trying it again I think it made a real difference to the dish. Yes you can substitute it with a little red wine or even vermouth if you have it, but the marsala really adds to the nutty, earthy taste of the dish and I think it does need it. Besides it’s not too expensive and you can always have a little glass with dessert!
Mackerel Pasta for 2
- 2-3 mackerel fillets (depending on size) skins removed
- 250g linguine
- Handful Sultanas
- 2 shallots – finely chopped
- 1-2 cloves of garlic
- Good glug marsala (50-60ml)
- 2tsp capers (rinsed)
- Handful fresh dill
- Handful pine nuts
- Olive oil
Prepare the onion, garlic and dill by finely chopping. Boil the water for the pasta, you can salt this but I prefer not to. When ready pop the pasta on to boil according to the pack time. Now to the sauce.
Cover the bottom of a large pan in olive oil and heat, once hot add the shallots and garlic and gently fry till softened. Add the marsala wine and once it has reduced flake in the mackerel and stir together.
Add the capers and sultanas and again stir through. Add half the dill now, reserving half to garnish with later. Remove from the heat.
Drain the pasta (1st reserving 1 small cup of the liquid) and add it to the sauce in which ever pan is larger. Add a little of the reserved liquid to lubricate the pasta, you may not need it all.
Serve with a sprinkling of dill and scattering of pine nuts. Yum!
Text and photos By Russell Bowes