When you have abundant sunshine, the produce you get in the region is plentiful, colourful and delicious. The people from Fragata are running a competition to win a cooking day with Jose Pizarro of the Pizarro Restaurant in Bermondsey. They duly sent along a hamper with a selection of goodies like capers, black olives, green olives, Piri Piri peppers and I had to come up with a recipe or two from that selection.
Coming up with a dish that uses olives is not that easy as it really is best eaten out of the can with some flavourings like lemon rind, harissa or some other exotic combination. You shouldn’t really subject the olives to heat either as it loses its flavour.
As I was watching the latest Nigellisima programme, I saw Nigella demonstrating a very similar recipe, her Smoke Mackerel Pasta. This is really flexible and you can add as many or as few of the ingredients to add your own touch.
Here is the first one. I used Smoked Mackerel as it is my new favourite ingredient. So this dish is very European as it incorporates ingredients from the UK, Spain and Italy. Best of all, it takes no time at all to cook, all of about 15 mins. Give it a go.
Smoked Mackerel Pasta with Piri Piri Peppers, Capers and Olives
- Handful of dry pasta of choice I used spaghetti as I didn't have any linguine
- 3 shallots sliced
- Smoked Mackerel
- 1 tbsp capers
- 1 tbsp sliced olives
- 1 tbsp piri piri peppers
- some virgin rapeseed oil for frying
- Salt and pepper
- Put a big pot of water to boil and add pasta when boiling. Put a timer on for 10 mins.
- Peel and slice the shallots. Fry them in some oil
- Meanwhile flake a fillet of Smoked Mackerel or any other smoked fish that you fancy
- When the shallots have softened but not brown, add in the fish, capers and the peppers.
- Stir it all to warm
- By this time your pasta should be ready, use a pasta ladel to transfer the pasta to the pan with the fish. Never pour your pasta out into a colander as the steam will overcook the pasta and you have lost all the cooking liquid which you need to add to make a sauce.
- Add a splash of the pasta water to the sauce and stir to loosen it up.
- Turn off the heat and add in the beautifully sliced black olives. Stir.
- Check the seasoning but watch the salt as all the ingredients have been soaking in brine.
- Serve and drizzle some lovely single estate olive oil.
I have not reviewed this book yet but I have seen quite a few things on the programme that I want to try. I am not too bothered that it is not really Italian but I like her style of using Italian ingredients and creating recipes that are easy to recreate in our own kitchens. Nigella’s recipes are simple to make and they have always worked for me, so far. You can get her book at half price on Amazon.
If you would like to win a chance to cook with Jose, check out the details here.
Fragata provided the Mediterranean ingredients for this dish.