Cornish Mackerel Carbonara

Fresh Fish
Total Time
30 mins
2 People

Did you know that mackerel is the UK’s most commonly landed fish species, is integral to the Cornish fishing industry, and tastes amazing in a carbonara?

Here’s a Cornish twist on a classic dish which is easy to make at home and in large quantities – because sometimes you just can’t get enough! Cornish mackerel is mostly caught by small-scale, inshore handlining vessels which count on fine weather to be able to fish.

And yes, in real life, the sauce spills and the penne slides out the pan. It’s all part of the joys of home cooking, and we wouldn’t have it any other way.

Find some Cornish smoked mackerel from a local merchant using our Merchant Matchmaker.


  • 160g spaghetti
  • 2 large free-range eggs
  • 20g parmesan cheese
  • 50ml semi-skimmed milk
  • 1/2 onion
  • 1 courgette
  • 1 sprig of fresh rosemary
  • Small boneless mackerel fillet
  • Olive oil


  1. Pick your pasta, we recommend spaghetti or penne for this creamy dish, and cook according to packet instructions in salted water.
  2. While the pasta is bubbling away, get the sauce ready. Whisk together the eggs, milk and parmesan and set aside.
  3. Peel and finely slice the onion. Then thinly slice the courgette however you like, in discs, ribbons - whatever takes your fancy.
  4. Bring out your fillet of Cornish mackerel and slice. You can leave the skin on or take it off. If you're unsure how to do this, get your fishmonger to help!
  5. Put the onion and courgette into a large frying pan with olive oil on a medium heat. Add a pinch of salt and pepper and stir occasionally.
  6. Add the rosemary and mackerel as the courgette and onions start to soften. Cook for 5 minutes, tossing occasionally.
  7. Reserve a cupful of pasta water, then drain the pasta and pour into pan.
  8. Take the pan off the heat, and add the reserved water.
  9. Pour in the egg mixture and stir together until all ingredients are coated evenly and it appears thickened and silky.
  10. Plate up and serve. Add an extra dash of Parmesan and a hearty crack of pepper to finish.

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