When we were in Liverpool last November, we had lunch at an Italian chain restaurant whereupon we both chose their pasta with salmon and spinach and peas in a cream sauce. While the execution of the dish was mostly good, I felt it could be improved upon as it was a bit cloying halfway through and there could have been more of the ingredients in the dish.

I got the chance to remake it when I found myself with a packet of smoked mackerel in my fridge and no real idea of what to do with it. My thoughts went back to that pasta meal and after a bit more scrounging about, came up with this. It was a nice way for us to increase our intake of fish!

Fusilli with Smoked Mackerel and Peas

Fusilli with Smoked Mackerel and Peas
serves 2.

250g dried fusilli
1-2 tbsps olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
150g smoked mackerel, flaked
1/2 cup of frozen peas
splash of white wine (optional)
about 75mL double cream, adjust to suit your taste
salt and freshly ground black pepper
a squeeze of lemon juice

This pasta sauce is very quick to make so get your water boiling and boil your pasta in the meantime (don’t forget to salt the water).

Heat the olive oil in a saute pan over medium heat and soften the chopped onion. When it’s translucent and soft, add the smoked mackerel and frozen peas and stir through. Add the splash of white wine and let it bubble and the alcohol cook off. Stir through the double cream and season to taste – you might find that you don’t need much salt as the fish can be quite salty. I like lots of black pepper.

When the pasta is cooked, drain it and mix it through with the sauce, adding some pasta water if it’s a bit too dry. Squeeze a bit of lemon juice over and stir through. Serve immediately.

I like to have a lemon wedge on the side as the lemon juice cuts through some of the richness.

BTW, I hope everyone had a nice Valentine’s Day yesterday!

Update: I’m submitting this recipe to Presto Pasta Nights, this week hosted by Noob Cook.