Today I am going the share with you the recipe for one of my dad’s favourite dishes: Pasta with Mackerel Ragout. It is a very simple dish that is perfect for any seafood lover.
The concept is very easy: cook your fish in a tomato based sauce and use the sauce to dress your pasta. Then, serve the fish as an additional dish. In fact, I am not sure if I have ever explained how an Italian meal works. Basically, we start with an antipasto (appetiser), then we have a primo (this could be pasta, rice, or soup), then a secondo (meat or fish) with a side, then fruits, and then dessert.
Obviously, that’s a full meal and people don’t always have all that food, but that’s how it would traditionally be. So this recipe would have you covered for both your primo and secondo courses.
On a somewhat different note, I love mackerel. This is the kind of fish I like the most together with sardines and tuna. I love its intense flavour and the fact that it is a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids. Try this recipe and let me know what you think in the comment section below. Also, don’t forget to check out my video. Enjoy!
Pasta with Mackerel Ragout
- 1 medium about 450 gms – 1 lb. mackerel, gutted
- 1 garlic clove quartered
- 4 big mint leaves
- ½ tsp salt mixed with ¼ tsp pepper
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 140 gms – 5 oz. tomato paste
- 360 gms – 13 oz. tomato puree
- 500 ml – 2 cups water
- ½ onion chopped
- Salt to taste
- 370 gms – 13 oz. short pasta I used penne
Halve the garlic cloves. Cut 4 slits in the mackerel and fill them with the halved garlic, mint, salt and pepper.
Sear the mackerel in a hot frying pan with a little vegetable oil. Make sure it is well browned on all sides. Keep aside.
Sauté the chopped onion in the extra virgin olive oil for a couple of minutes, or until it’s translucent.
Add the tomato paste and mix well. Add the tomato puree and mix well.
Add the water and bring the sauce to a boil. Add the seared mackerel to it, cover and cook for about 15 minutes (or until the fish is cooked through).
If the sauce is too runny, remove the mackerel and reduce the sauce on a high flame until it thickens. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Cook the pasta following the steps on How to cook pasta “al dente” in the Techniques page of this site. Drain it and mix it with the sauce.
Serve the mackerel as a second dish.