Italian Mackerel in Tomato Sauce with Pasta

Italy, a land celebrated for its culinary mastery, offers a diverse range of dishes that captivate the senses. This recipe brings together the savory richness of mackerel, the zest of tomato sauce, and the comforting allure of pasta—a trio that instantly transports your taste buds to the heart of Italy. Mackerel, with its robust flavor, pairs harmoniously with the creaminess of tomato sauce, creating a delightful medley that’s sure to please both seafood lovers and pasta enthusiasts. So, explore the art of crafting this Mediterranean masterpiece in the comfort of your own kitchen: Italian Mackerel in Tomato Sauce with Pasta.

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Italian Mackerel in Tomato Sauce with Pasta

Italian Mackerel in Tomato Sauce with Pasta

Italian Mackerel in Tomato Sauce with Pasta is a flavorful marriage of tender mackerel fillets, vibrant tomato sauce, and perfectly cooked pasta. This dish not only satisfies your cravings but also embodies the soul of Italian cooking, delivering a symphony of tastes that delight the palate.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Servings 4 servings


  • 4 mackerel fillets
  • 12 oz pasta (such as spaghetti or linguine)
  • 1 can (14 oz) crushed tomatoes
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • ½ tsp red pepper flakes (adjust to taste)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Grated Parmesan cheese for garnish (optional)
  • Fresh basil leaves for garnish
  • Lemon wedges for serving


Prepare the Pasta:

  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the pasta according to package instructions until al dente. Drain and set aside.

Sear the Mackerel:

  • In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium-high heat.
  • Add the mackerel fillets and sear for 3-4 minutes on each side until they turn golden brown. Remove them from the skillet and set aside.

Sauté the Aromatics:

  • In the same skillet, add chopped onion and sauté for 2-3 minutes until it becomes translucent.
  • Stir in minced garlic, dried basil, and red pepper flakes. Cook for an additional minute, infusing the flavors.

Create the Tomato Sauce:

  • Pour the crushed tomatoes into the skillet, stirring to combine with the aromatics.
  • Season the sauce with salt and pepper to taste. Allow it to simmer for about 10 minutes, letting it thicken and meld in flavor.

Combine and Serve:

  • Gently place the seared mackerel fillets into the tomato sauce.
  • Simmer for another 5 minutes, allowing the fish to cook through and absorb the flavors.
  • Serve the mackerel and tomato sauce over a bed of cooked pasta.

Garnish and Enjoy:

  • Garnish with grated Parmesan cheese and fresh basil leaves for added depth of flavor and a touch of elegance.
  • Serve hot with lemon wedges for a zesty finish.


Cooking tips for the best results:
  1. Al Dente pasta: Cook the pasta until it’s al dente, as it will continue to cook slightly when combined with the sauce.
  2. Fresh mackerel: Whenever possible, opt for fresh mackerel fillets for the best taste and texture.
  3. Red pepper flakes: Adjust the amount of red pepper flakes to suit your spice tolerance.
  4. Season thoughtfully: Be cautious with salt as both the mackerel and the pasta may already have some saltiness.
  5. Variations: Feel free to add fresh cherry tomatoes or sautéed spinach for extra color and flavor.

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FAQs about the Recipe for Italian Mackerel in Tomato Sauce with Pasta

Can I use a different type of pasta for Italian mackerel in tomato sauce?

Yes, you can use your favorite pasta variety for this Italian mackerel in tomato sauce recipe. Spaghetti or linguine work well, but feel free to get creative with your choices.

Is it necessary to use fresh mackerel, or can I use frozen fillets?

While fresh mackerel is ideal, frozen fillets can be used as long as they are properly thawed and drained.

Can I make this dish ahead of time for a dinner party?

Yes, you can prepare the sauce and cook the mackerel in advance, then reheat and serve it over freshly cooked pasta just before your guests arrive.

What can I serve as a side dish with this Italian mackerel pasta?

A simple green salad with a lemon vinaigrette or garlic bread makes for excellent accompaniments.

How should I store leftovers?

Store any leftover mackerel and pasta in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to two days. Reheat gently on the stovetop or in the microwave for a delightful leftover meal.

Related Recipes and Culinary Articles

Read more here for additional info about mackerel recipes. Also, I recommend other interesting articles and recipes related to mackerel in tomato sauce, including baked mackerel in tomato sauce, easy mackerel in tomato sauce, one-pot mackerel in garlic tomato sauce, mackerel in tomato sauce with olives and capers, Spanish mackerel in tomato sauce with rice, and more (see below.)

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