mackerel with peas in wine and tomato

Lindsey Bareham

The rich, dense flesh of mackerel is delicious cooked with tomato. In this unusual recipe that dates back to Franco Taruschio’s days at The Walnut Tree, Abergavenny, carefully boned fillets are rolled and held in place with a cocktail stick, covered with a spicy tomato sauce and cooked with peas. Served in shallow soup bowls with garlicky bruschetta on the side, this makes a lovely summer supper.

serves 4, prep 20 min, cook 30 min

1 onion
4 garlic cloves
2 tbsp olive oil
150ml white wine
350g arrabiata tomato sauce
2 tbsp finely chopped flat leaf parsley
1 sprig thyme
8 mackerel fillets
350g shelled peas or frozen petit pois
8 cocktail sticks
4 thick slices sourdough
4 tbsp best olive oil

Peel and finely chop the onion and 3 cloves garlic. In a pan that can accommodate all the ingredients, fry the onion and garlic in the olive oil with a pinch salt until soft and golden. Add the wine and simmer steadily to reduce the wine by two-thirds. Add the tomato sauce, parsley and thyme. Simmer for 5 min.

Run an index finger over the mackerel fillets to locate any stray bones; remove with tweezers. Roll up the fillets and skewer with a cocktail stick. Place in the tomato sauce and cook gently for about 10 min until the fish is cooked. Carefully remove the cocktail sticks.

Meanwhile, boil the peas and once cooked add to the tomato sauce pan. Heat together and serve in shallow soup bowls with bruschetta. To make the bruschetta, toast or griddle the slices of bread, rub one side with peeled garlic, splash with olive oil and add a twist of salt.