Adjusting the meal plan – mackerel and creme fraiche pasta

mackerel pasta

I might not have said this before, but when you make your meal plan, you want to ensure there’s a bit of flexibility in there.  A bit of wiggle room in case your plans change.

Only you know how often your plans will change – some people like to be more spontaneous, or have more hectic jobs – but for me, I find that it’s a rare week one of my meals doesn’t change.  Maybe this doesn’t come across well in my weekly meal planning posts, but most weeks I’ll be unexpectedly invited out to dinner one night, or will have a busy night and need to make something faster, or Dave will be working late and I’ll be eating alone.

In this case, it was the latter – Dave had to work a ‘sleepover’ shift to cover someone being off sick (it’s pretty rare he does these now), so he’ll eat at work.  Meanwhile, I look at the meal plan and decide if I still want the original planned meal – usually not, because I like to take advantage of Dave being away to make things he doesn’t like.  This week, I had a couple of days notice, so decided to shift the meals around and have the stroganoff on Tuesday and skip the fish fingers.

The reason this works is because I always plan at least one meal where we won’t be wasting fresh ingredients if we don’;t have it.  E.g. spag bol or stew, where the sauce is already in the freezer, or something store-cupboardy, like lentil dhal.  Most of the components of the homemade fish fingers were already frozen and the potatoes will keep, so no big deal to miss it out this week.

I had two thirds of a tub of crème fraîche to use up and Dave hates creamy pasta sauce, so I kind of had pasta in mind.  Since I was going for a run, I’d be home late, so wanted something super quick, and mackerel pasta definitely fit that.

(In case you’re wondering, yes, I do already have a mackerel and pea pasta recipe on the blog.  Clearly mackerel and peas are my go-to thing when I need fast, tasty nutrition.  This one is different, promise.)

mackerel pasta 2

Mackerel and crème fraîche pasta (serves one at £1.44)

  • 75g pasta 5p
  • 1 tin mackerel, drained (mine was in oil – don’t use the one in tomato sauce) 89p
  • 80g frozen peas 8p
  • 1/3 tub small crème fraîche (or whatever you have left really) 39p
  • 1 tsp wholegrain mustard 3p

Bring a pan of salted water to the boil and add the pasta.  Boil until only a couple of minutes away from being cooked to your liking (mine were in for about 9 minutes at this stage).

Meanwhile, mix the crème fraîche, mustard and drained mackerel in a bowl.  Season with pepper.

When the pasta is a couple of minutes away from being done, add the peas and continue to cool until the peas and pasta are both just tender with a little bite.

Drain, add to the mackerel mix and stir through. Serve with salad if you want (I did).


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