Just recently, I made an attempt to cook Spaghetti Carbonara with Uni-Pak Mackerel. I’m not an expert in the kitchen but I do try from time to time. This time I tried to cook with whatever’s on my pantry.
We like Uni-Pak Sardines in Tomato Sauce and buys it whenever we’re craving for sardines. For me, the sardines brand is not the usual canned goods in the market. It’s very flexible; we use it at home as ingredients in other dishes.
Uni-Pak canned goods are imported from Japan and Korea and distributed locally by S-Lord Development Corporation. Food products must meet a certain level of standards to be accepted in the export market. It means that the brand has met that standard, including the Uni-Pak Mackerel in Natural Oil variant.
The Uni-Pak Mackerel’s Facebook Page shared a recipe for Carbonara. It looks good, but the adventurous in me wanted to try Jamie Oliver’s recipe instead. So I made a quick stop at the grocery near my place. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find fresh rosemary and lemon.
I’m a fan of the celebrity chef who encourages people to cook with whatever is available. So I decided to make some modifications based on what I have in my kitchen. Here’s my ingredients of Spaghetti Carbonara with Uni-Pak Mackerel:
- Palm Oil
- Uni-Pak Mackerel
- Spaghetti (leftovers from Christmas)
- Dried Rosemary
- 2 Eggs
- 100 ml Skimmed Milk
- 40 g Cheddar Cheese, Grated
Cooking Spaghetti Carbonara with Uni-Pak Mackerel
I’m sharing this procedure the best way I think it should be done, not the way I did it. First, cook the pasta according to package directions. Then prepare your ingredients by slicing the onion thinly, then whisk the eggs, skimmed milk, and cheese . Also make sure to flake the Uni-Pak Mackerel.
Once the pasta is cooked, reserve a cup of cooking water then drain the rest. Then in a pan, saute your onions until cooked. Yes, it’s not enough that the onion is being sauteed, it has to be cooked and there’s a certain scent when it’s done properly. That’s one tip I learned during a cooking session.
Then add dried Rosemary, and the flaked Uni-Pak Mackerel. Be generous on adding this herb because it will infuse flavor and aroma to the Mackerel and reduce the fishy flavor that we don’t like.
After 5 minutes, toss in the drained pasta. Stir to mix the mackerel and pasta, then remove from heat. Splash in the reserved water. According to Jamie Oliver, pouring in the water helps cool the pasta mixture down. If the eggs and milk mixture is added to the pan while still very hot, the heat will scramble the mixture. We’re trying to achieve a sauce that is silky smooth.
Pour the eggs and milk mixture quickly to the pan and stir until thickened and has evenly coated the pasta. I have to admit that I was worried that the sauce would be watery. But after tossing and mixing, everything turned out right. What a relief!
Serve the dish with more grated cheese. It adds more creaminess, and makes it more delicious.
Uni-Pak Mackerel is a versatile product, but I have to be honest that my Spaghetti Carbonara with Uni-Pak Mackerel was not a total success. Still, it wasn’t a total fail as well. I succeeded in having a silky and creamy Carbonara sauce. What I could have improved on is in removing the fishy flavor of the Mackerel.
Aside from onions, I could have sauteed in garlic and lots of dried Rosemary to infuse the flavor more. My cousin suggested that I use ginger instead, but I don’t think that would be a good idea for a pasta dish. Also next time, I plan to add mushroom which is part of Uni-Pak Mackerel’s recipe.
Now I know what to do next when cooking Spaghetti Carbonara with Uni-Pak Mackerel. This is what I love about cooking. I can experiment and improve on what I’ve done next time. And having a quality Uni-Pak Mackerel, there’s nothing to be scared of. 😉