Carbonara of smoked mackerel

Mackerel Carbonara

Serves 4

  • 320 g dried penne

  • 1 onion

  • 1 large courgette

  • 2 sprigs of fresh rosemary

  • 130 g smoked boneless mackerel fillets

  • olive oil

  • 2 large free-range eggs

  • 100 ml semi-skimmed milk

  • 40 g Parmesan cheese

  • Optional:

  • 1 lemon

This is a lovely twist in the tale of a traditional carbonara that uses smoked fish instead of bacon. For me, it's the subtle emulsion of cooking water, eggs and Parmesan that gives that really comforting carbonara experience, along with something smoky – in this case the lovely mackerel – and lots of black pepper.



Cook the penne in a pan of boiling salted water according to packet instructions. Meanwhile, peel and finely slice the onion, then cut the courgette into quarters lengthways and cut out the fluffy core. Slice the courgette at an angle, roughly 1cm thick – you want the pieces to be about the same size and shape as the penne. Pick and chop the rosemary leaves, then slice the mackerel 1cm thick (removing the skin, if you like). Put the onions and courgettes into a large frying pan on a medium heat with a lug of oil and a pinch of salt and pepper, stirring occasionally. After 5 minutes, add the rosemary and mackerel and cook for a further 5 minutes, or until nice and golden, tossing occasionally.



Meanwhile, whisk the eggs and milk together, then finely grate in the Parmesan. Reserving a cupful of cooking water, drain the pasta and toss it into the mackerel pan. Take the pan off the heat for a few seconds and stir in a good splash of the reserved water to cool it down (this is really important, because if you add your eggs when the pan's still screaming hot, the heat will simply scramble them – you want the sauce to be silky smooth). Quickly pour in the egg mixture and shake and stir together until thickened, silky and evenly coated, then plate up and serve with an extra grating of Parmesan, a good pinch of pepper and a squeeze of lemon juice, if you like.

Nutritional Information

Carbonara of smoked mackerel

A twist on the classic

More Easter treats recipes >
0 foodies cooked this
This is a lovely take on the traditional spaghetti carbonara – I’ve used smoked fish instead of bacon, but it still retains that lovely smoky flavour
Serves 4
25m
Not too tricky
Print this recipe
Method

This is a lovely twist in the tale of a traditional carbonara that uses smoked fish instead of bacon. For me, it's the subtle emulsion of cooking water, eggs and Parmesan that gives that really comforting carbonara experience, along with something smoky – in this case the lovely mackerel – and lots of black pepper.

Cook the penne in a pan of boiling salted water according to packet instructions. Meanwhile, peel and finely slice the onion, then cut the courgette into quarters lengthways and cut out the fluffy core. Slice the courgette at an angle, roughly 1cm thick – you want the pieces to be about the same size and shape as the penne. Pick and chop the rosemary leaves, then slice the mackerel 1cm thick (removing the skin, if you like). Put the onions and courgettes into a large frying pan on a medium heat with a lug of oil and a pinch of salt and pepper, stirring occasionally. After 5 minutes, add the rosemary and mackerel and cook for a further 5 minutes, or until nice and golden, tossing occasionally.

Meanwhile, whisk the eggs and milk together, then finely grate in the Parmesan. Reserving a cupful of cooking water, drain the pasta and toss it into the mackerel pan. Take the pan off the heat for a few seconds and stir in a good splash of the reserved water to cool it down (this is really important, because if you add your eggs when the pan's still screaming hot, the heat will simply scramble them – you want the sauce to be silky smooth). Quickly pour in the egg mixture and shake and stir together until thickened, silky and evenly coated, then plate up and serve with an extra grating of Parmesan, a good pinch of pepper and a squeeze of lemon juice, if you like.

Nutritional Information Amount per serving:

Calories

Calories are just a unit of energy. If you eat more than you use you can gain weight, or lose it if you don't eat enough. How much you need depends on your weight, gender and how active you are, but it's around 2,000 a day.

Carbs

Carbs are a great source of energy and, excluding foods such as potatoes, are made from grains - like bread, pasta and cereal. We all need carbs, but try to make them all wholegrain by sticking to brown bread, rice and pasta - they are much more nutritious.

Sugar

We all deserve a treat sometimes, but try to limit your sugar intake. Most of your sugar should come from raw fruit and milk, because they give us lots of nutrients too. Always check food labels so you know how much sugar you're eating.

Fat

We all need to eat a small amount of fat because it protects our organs and helps us grow. But we need to be careful about how much fat we eat and what kinds of fat, because in higher levels it's associated with weight gain, diabetes, cancer and heart disease.

Saturates

Saturated or "bad fats" are in beef, pork, chicken skin, butter, cream and cheese. Too much can be bad for our heart and cholesterol levels, but unsaturated or "good fats" in fish, nuts, avocados and some oils can help keep our hearts healthy if eaten in moderation.

Protein

Protein helps our muscles to grow and repair, as well as providing you with essential amino acids. When it comes to protein, try to eat leaner sources such as chicken and fish or non-meat sources such as eggs, dairy, beans, nuts, seeds, tofu and pulses.
  • Calories 543
    27%
  • Carbs 59.9g
    23%
  • Sugar 7g 8%
  • Fat 21.1g 30%
  • Saturates 5.8g 29%
  • Protein 26.5g 59%
Of an adult's reference intake

BUYING SUSTAINABLY SOURCED FISH

Close

Buying sustainably sourced fish means buying fish that has been caught without endangering the levels of fish stocks and with the protection of the environment in mind. Wild fish caught in areas where stocks are plentiful are sustainably sourced, as are farmed fish that are reared on farms proven to cause no harm to surrounding seas and shores.

When buying either wild or farmed fish, ask whether it is sustainably sourced. If you're unable to obtain this information, don't be afraid to shop elsewhere – only by shopping sustainably can we be sure that the fantastic selection of fish we enjoy today will be around for future generations.

For further information about sustainably sourced fish, please refer to the useful links below:

Marine Stewardship Council
http://www.msc.org/

Fish Online
http://www.fishonline.org

Show/hide comments

comments powered by Disqus

  • 320 g dried penne

  • 1 onion

  • 1 large courgette

  • 2 sprigs of fresh rosemary

  • 130 g smoked boneless mackerel fillets

  • olive oil

  • 2 large free-range eggs

  • 100 ml semi-skimmed milk

  • 40 g Parmesan cheese

  • Optional:

  • 1 lemon