Fideos con caballa with beetroot, orange and goats' cheese salad
Fideos con caballa is a mackerel-topped pasta stew that's popular in Spain. It is a simple, homemade fish supper that can be on the table in 45 minutes.
For the fideos con caballa
For the beetroot, orange and goats' cheese salad
- 3-4 raw beetroot
- sprig rosemary, leaves picked
- 2 oranges, segmented, juice reserved for the dressing
- mixed salad leaves such as frisée, sorrel, radicchio and rocket
- 50g/1¾oz hard goats' cheese
For the membrillo dressing
- 5 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tbsp sherry vinegar
- seeds from ½ small pomegranate
- 115g/4oz membrillo, finely chopped
- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
To make the fideos con caballa, half-fill a medium saucepan with water and add a pinch of salt and the bay leaves. Add the mackerel head and tail to the pan and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Strain the stock into a jug and discard the bay leaves, head and tail.
Meanwhile, to make the salad, preheat the oven to 190C/170C Fan/Gas 5. Wrap each beetroot individually in some kitchen foil with a few rosemary leaves and roast for 35-40 minutes, until tender. When cool enough to handle, peel and cut into wedges.
Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a frying pan over a medium heat and add the onions, tomatoes and wine. Cook for 10 minutes, or until the onion is softened. Add the garlic and fry for another minute. Ladle in the mackerel stock, bring to the boil and add the fideos. Cook for 4 minutes, or until the pasta is al dente. Season with salt and pepper.
Season the mackerel fillets with a little salt. Heat the remaining oil in a frying pan and fry the fish, skin-side down, for 2–3 minutes, until golden and almost cooked. Flip over and cook the other side for 30 seconds, or until just cooked through.
To make the dressing, whisk the olive oil in a small bowl with the sherry vinegar. Add the orange juice and pomegranate, then mix in the chopped membrillo. Add more vinegar to sharpen if it seems too sweet and season to taste.
To assemble the salad, arrange the beetroot and oranges on a serving plate with the salad leaves. Generously spoon the dressing over and finally shave over the cheese.
Divide the fideos mixture between four pasta bowls and top with the mackerel and serve with the salad.