Pasta & Fish Lite Bite

Pasta & Fish Lite Bite

This quick and easy dish makes a tasty lunch, a buffet accompaniment or an alternative to sandwiches for your packed lunch. You can vary the ingredients to suit and can use any tinned fish such as mackerel, tuna or red salmon.

  • Serves: 2-4

Ingredients

  • 125g – 150g tin of Mackerel, Tuna or Red Salmon
  • 250g Fusilli pasta – fresh or dried
  • 2 x Carrots – peeled and scraped then diced into 10 cm pieces
  • 12 x small Cherry Tomatoes (cut into quarters) or 3 large Vine Tomatoes (thinly sliced)
  • Cucumber – about a quarter – thinly sliced then cut into halves
  • Homegrown Snap Peas – approx. 25 pods, shelled and washed for fresh garden peas or 4 oz frozen peas
  • Sweetcorn – 4 oz frozen or fresh
  • 2 x ready cooked Baby Beets – chopped into 10 cm chunks
  • 8 x Fresh Mint leaves – finely chopped or dried mint
  • Sprig of Fresh Parsley – finely chopped or dried parsley
  • Dash of Malt Vinegar
  • 8 tbsp Salad Cream (a good brand is preferable)
  • ½ knob of Butter or butter substitute
  • 2 pinches Low Salt or Salt Substitute
  • Good pinch of White Pepper

Method

  • Shell the peas and put aside (if using ‘grow your own’)
  • Heat a large saucepan of water to prepare to steam the vegetables. Bring the water to the boil and add the diced carrot to the steamer. Steam for 2 minutes with a lid on, turning the heat down slightly.
  • If using frozen sweetcorn, lift the steamer off the saucepan and add the sweetcorn to the boiling water, bring to the boil then turn down to a steaming temperature. Place the steamer back on the saucepan, add the peas and steam for a further 5 minutes
  • While the veg is steaming, boil a large pan of water for the pasta (cook as packaging instructions – preferably al dente – use fresh or dried)
  • Once the veg is cooked / steamed, place them in an 8″ square (approx) serving dish
  • Add the chopped parsley and mint to the dish
  • Add the butter to the dish, using a fork to gently roll the butter to coat the warm veg
  • Once the pasta is cooked, strain immediately – remove any starch under running hot water if necessary and drain thoroughly
  • Add the pasta to the serving dish
  • Add 1 pinch salt and pepper and and gently roll the mixture

Then…

If eating as a warm dish soon after preparing:

  • Add the tomatoes with a pinch of salt and the cucumber pieces to the dish
  • Cube the beetroot but do not add it yet, pour the malt vinegar over the beetroot
  • Empty the contents of the mackerel or tuna including the oil into the dish – break up larger pieces gently but do not mash the mix
  • Add the salad cream and gently roll the mixture again
  • Once the vegetables, salad and fish are thoroughly mixed in the dish, add the beetroot (but not the excess vinegar) and roll the mixture once more. (The beetroot is added last as it will taint the dish with a beetroot colour if mixed beforehand)

or if eating cold later or the next day:

  • Follow the ‘Method’ steps for the warm mixture but allow each ingredient to cool before mixing (this avoids the mixing of warm and cold ingredients which, if done, will reduce the time that the dish can be stored)

Top Tips

  • Don’t overcook the pasta, it should be ‘al dente’ – remove it from the water as soon as it’s ready as it will continue to cook otherwise
  • Add the beetroot last to avoid a purple dish!
  • Cooking times are a guide – ensure the vegetables are not overcooked as they taste better with a bit of ‘crunch’

Recommended Equipment

  • Dish for serving – 8″ square – 2 inches high approx
  • Saucepan with steamer and lid
  • Large saucepan