Mackerel, Broccolli and Green Bean Pasta

Below is an image of some pasta I made earlier today, in the company of a neighbour’s cat and a glass of soave. In a previous life, the glass was a small jar of Nutella; these make really nice little glasses once the Nutella has been eaten.

This is one of my family’s favourite dishes, and my daughter has happily eaten this since she was about 4. The recipe is my own. I enjoy the novelty of it; pasta normally involves either a tomato sauce or lots of cheese, and this has neither. It is however really nice if you add a big dollop of marscapone or basic cream cheese right at the end, but it is very nice as it is. I now normally make it with lots of Brocolli, but on this occassion I didn’t have much broccoli so I upped the veg content with some green beans.

I start by gently frying a whole little tin of anchovies (together with the oil they are preserved in), with garlic and chopped onion, while frequently stirring. I add a little extra olive oil. On this occassion I used garlic-infused olive oil. I do this just until the anchovies have all broken up into a paste and the onion is nice and soft. It is important not to brown the onion, because this isn’t good for the flavour. I also add a glug of Worcestershire sauce at this stage. Because of the anchovies, you really don’t want to add any more salt.

You end up with a nice dark and salty sauce.

Next I put in the green beans with just enough water to cover them, then cook the pan with the lid on for a few minutes while I prepare the broccolli and pasta.

I measure the pasta using a dinner plate; for my family of two adults and one little girl, I find that if the pasta evenly covers a dinner plate then that is spot on. The broccolli is chopped into small pieces, and on this occassion I also added some chopped sweet red pepper to boost the nutrition a little and add some colour.


The broccolli goes in the pan at the same time as the penne pasta. For the first few minutes I leave the lid on the pan, and then for the last few minutes the lid is removed so that the sauce reduces. A tin of filletted, boneless mackerel is stirred in right at the end. It is pre-cooked, so there is no need to cook it.

Once the pasta has cooked, so has the broccolli. You can then add lemon juice and black pepper, and some cream cheese if you must, then give it a good stir. Then eat it!

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