Something Different – A Warm Pasta Salad for a Warm Night

Posted: 10/06/2013 in Cooking Break!
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Sadly, the samphire I recently fell in love with is no longer easily available in my area, limiting my choices for delicious seafood dinners.  However, smoked mackerel fillets are still available for ridiculously low prices and I’m determined to get as much oily fish nutrients in my system as I can while the opportunity arises.  Necessity is the mother of invention, and today I came upon another delicious pasta recipe using smoked mackerel.  You could also substitute baby new potatoes for the pasta, and it’d be just as good.

No pictures of my finished dish, as I need new batteries for the camera again (it’s a hungry camera!), but I’d love to see your own finished versions of the dish if you make it!

Smoked Mackerel and Bacon Warm Pasta Salad

Serves 2

A warm pasta salad with a simple sauce and runny egg topping, served over crisp watercress.


1large or 2 medium fillets smoked mackerel

6 rashers streaky bacon

1 onion

1/2 cucumber

2 cups dry pasta

2 large eggs

1 knob butter

1 tbsp dijon mustard

salt and pepper to taste (note that the bacon adds quite a lot of salt – do not season until you’ve tasted the dish)

a couple large handfuls watercress


Bring a pan of water to the boil and add the pasta.  Roughly chop the onion and bacon, and add to a hot pan.  Do not add any oil, as the runoff from the bacon will be enough to prevent ingredients from sticking.  Once the bacon is basically cooked and starting to crisp up, peel the skin off the mackerel fillets, roughly pull the meat apart and add to the pan with the bacon, stirring well.  Cook for a couple of minutes, then remove from the heat.  Chop the cucumber portion into small cubes and stir into the mixture.  Remove the pasta from the hob once al-dente or cooked to your preference and drain.

Bring a second, small pot of water to the boil.  In a separate, small pan, quickly melt the butter and whisk the dijon into it.  Toss the pasta, bacon/mackerel mix and dijon butter together until well blended.  By now, the second pot of water should be boiling.  Crack the eggs into it carefully, and let them poach just a minute or two while you plate up the food.

Scatter a generous handful of watercress onto each plate and top with a portion of the warm pasta salad.  Place a poached egg on top of each serving, and crack the egg open, to allow the warm, runny yolk to ooze over the pasta.  Serve.

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