Mackerel Tomato Pasta

An effortlessly flavorful pantry one-pot dinner reminiscent of Pasta al tonno, great for winter months or times when you have no fresh produce on hand.


  • About 20 minutes
  • 2 servings


  • 3 tbs good olive oil
  • 1 pinch of sea salt
  • 1 pinck of black pepper
  • 1 small shallot, minced
  • 3 cloves of garlic, sliced
  • 1 tbs of harissa
  • 1 16oz can of mackerel in tomato sauce
  • 2 cups of dried short pasta (penne, fusilli, rigatoni, farfalle, orecchiette…)
  • 1 1/2 cups of water
  • 1/2 cups of grated parmigiano reggiano or pecorino romano


  1. firstly, heat a heavy bottomed pot on a campfire hotspot. pour the olive oil, pepper, shallot, garlic, and harissa in the pot as it heats. stir and keep the lid off.
  2. allow the shallots to turn translucent and begin to crisp, then add in the whole can of mackerel in tomato sauce. the liquid may sizzle and splash back, so be careful.
  3. pour in the dried pasta and cover with just enough water so the contents are submurged. add the lid onto the pot and let cook.
  4. after 5 minutes, carefully open the lid and gently stir to prevent burning. when the pasta is cooked just before al dente, take the pot off the campfire heat and add the lid back on. allow the contents to steam as the pasta finishes cooking.
  5. sprinkle with grated cheese and a drizzle of olive oil, and enjoy.


  • sourcing good quality, sustainably caught/farmed fish can be tricky, but is getting increasingly easier with the popularity of tinned fish in the younger American diet.
    1. check the ingredient list; the less ingredients, the better
    1. look for seafood packed in olive oil for the best flavor
    1. consult for the specific fish you are intending to to buy to see the “best choice” for the environment
    • mackerel in tomato sauce : other tinned fish canned in tomato sauce (however, the mackerel is usually good quality, large whole pieces, and a delicate flavor)
    • harissa : a pinch of a spicy chili flake or tbs of other spicy red chili paste
    • shallot : 1/4 of a red onion, minced

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