m. c. de marco: The New Kitchen Cookbook

Smoked Mackerel Pasta Salad

It was a crazy heat wave and Peter wanted some fish in our planned cold pasta salad. We found a ⅓ lb. package of smoked mackerel at Market Basket and tossed it up with some spare veggies from the gazpacho, plus some ingredients from Jamie Oliver’s mackerel pasta salad recipe.

Serves 2, chilled or at room temperature.


  • ⅓ lb. smoked mackerel
  • ⅔ lb. short pasta
  • 1 or more handfuls fresh green beens
  • 7 oil-cured olives, or even more kalamata olives
  • ½ cucumber
  • ½ yellow pepper
  • a few roasted red peppers (from a jar)
  • 2 T. lemon juice
  • about ¼ c. extra virgin olive oil
  • salt to taste
  • black pepper to taste


  1. Boil water for the pasta.
  2. Trim ends off the green beans and boil them in the pasta water for 4 minutes. Remove and cool.
  3. Cook the pasta.
  4. Rinse the pasta in cold water. Let it sit in ice water if you don’t have time for real chilling.
  5. Chop all vegetables and the fish to desired bite size.
  6. Drain pasta.
  7. Mix all ingredients together.
  8. Optionally, chill further before serving.


You can do something similar with a can of salmon or another smoked fish. We frequently use up leftover smoked salmon this way.

We often make pasta salad with feta in lieu of fish.

You can use snow peas instead of green beans; they only need one minute of blanching.

Capers never hurt, nor would a crunchier vegetable like fennel or celery (adequately diced).