May 23, 2024

Quick Peppered Mackerel Puttanesca

Posted on May 20, 2021 by in seafood

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Quick Peppered Mackerel Puttanesca

Quick Peppered mackerel Puttanesca is a bit of  twist on the classic, but hey, if we do not re-invent ourselves, our careers or our recipes for that matter, we will stagnate. A twist on the classic puttanesca is therefor allowed I think.

My Quick Peppered Mackerel Puttanesca has two twists actually, the first being the peppered mackerel and the other the addition of grated parmesan cheese. The mackerel was not in place of the anchovies, but an addition to it. I kind of liked the little smoky vibe going on. The parmesan……. because I like it. In any case who eats pasta without cheese?

Quick Peppered Mackerel Puttanesca

The story about puttanesca is actually quite delightful to read. I think it is the simplicity of the dish that caught my attention. We tend to overkill pasta with rich creamy sauce and ingredients, yet in a puttanesca, you can taste every single ingredients. Except maybe the anchovies. My family did not like the idea of the anchovies at first, but in between big mouthfuls of pasta, they asked me if I decided to leave the anchovies out. No, I did not. The anchovies add a creamy, delicious saltiness to the pasta. The mackerel enhanced that. So for me, this recipe, celebrates simplicity and good quality ingredients. Good olive oil, ripe tomatoes, home-cured olives and lots and lots of love.

Quick Peppered Mackerel Puttanesca

serves 4-6


500 g spaghetti

3 T/ 45 ml Olyfberg extra-virgin olive oil

3 cloves garlic – crushed

6 – 8 anchovy fillets

2 T / 30 ml tomato paste

500 g baby tomatoes – cut in half and quarters

salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

½ cup / 125 ml pitted olives

½ cup / 125 ml pitted green olives

¼ cup / 80 ml drained capers

½ – 1 t chili flakes

A handful chopped fresh basil

Juice and zest of 1 lemon

100 g Threestreams peppered smoked mackerel

½ cup / 125 ml grated parmesan cheese

Quick Peppered Mackerel Puttanesca


Bring a big pot of water to the boil. Add 2 T salt and add the pasta. Cook until el dente, drain the pasta and keep. Also keep about 1 cup of the pasta water.

Warm oil in a large pot over medium heat and add the garlic and anchovies. Stir and cook until garlic is lightly golden and anchovies melt into the oil. This takes 2-3 minutes. Just enjoy the pungent aromas coming from that pot.

Now add the tomato paste and cook and stir for 1 minute. Add ½ the chopped tomatoes and crush them with a fork to break up a little.

Add salt and pepper to taste. Increase the heat slightly and cook, until the tomatoes break down and the mixture becomes saucy, about 10 minutes.

Add in the olives, capers, basil and chili flakes and reduce the heat and simmer for about 10 minutes.

Remove from heat and add the pasta and fold in to coat the pasta with the sauce. Season again with salt and pepper to taste and add the flaked mackerel and the lemon juice and zest. Add some of the pasta water if the pasta is too dry.

Quick Peppered Mackerel Puttanesca

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