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Herring Pasta with "Hollands Nieuwe"

Herring Pasta with "Hollands Nieuwe"  by Pasta Cecchi in Leiden

In the Netherlands, fish is one of the most commonly used ingredient in the kitchen and the Netherlands has traditionally been known for its fish culture, a little bit like Italy. Of the different fish species, one particularly stands out for its way of eating, the herring.


Herring used to be fished in the North Sea off the Dutch coast, but intensive fishing forced the government to take regulatory measures as early as the 17th century and, despite the precautions, the herring stock declined so much that between 1977 and 1983 the Dutch government had imposed a fishing ban.

Today, the herring comes from Norway and Denmark, where they are present in large quantities, and they remain a delicacies, especially in local markets. The herrings found in the market are small and juvenile fish (adults can even reach 45 cm in length and live to be 22 years old).

Hollandse Nieuwe is recognized as a Dutch synonym for herring

Hollandse Nieuwe is recognized as a Dutch synonym for herring, which is caught and sold at a certain period of the year. Herring is also sold under the name Hollandse Maatjesharing, a corruption of virgin herring (virgin in the sense that the sexually mature male fish does not yet contain roe at this period of the cycle and the female fish does not have roe).

Recognition as a Guaranteed Traditional Specialty (TSG) is open to foodstuffs and agricultural products without any link to a geographical area. Council Regulation (EEC) No 2082/92 of 14 July 1992 on certification of specific character for agricultural products and foodstuffs.

The term "Hollandse Nieuwe" is a concept in the Netherlands, an old traditional name that may only be used for the traditional product caught in the period from 1 May to 31 August of the current calendar year and in the period from 1 Maymay be sold under that name until 30 September of the same calendar year.Both names are protected under European recognition as 'Guaranteed Traditional Specialty' (GTS) and the NVWA can impose sanctions in case of violation (read more at

Although Maatjesharing can be eaten all year round, Hollandse Nieuwe is mainly produced in May - June when the fat content (minimum 16%) is optimal.

Here it is a classic to eat them raw at the market with chopped onions and sometimes between two slices of bread. But tradition still likes fresh whole herring straight into the mouth, just bought from the fish market counter and I must admit that it has its charm and unmistakable taste for me too!

A herring is eaten held by the tail and possibly "dipped" in finely chopped onion.

However, there are some drawbacks... the hands are often left with the smell of fish and everything that is touched afterwards, and of course not everyone likes raw herring and especially women don't like this practice in public... so what solution is there?

Here is a nice recipe that allows everyone to enjoy this fantastic taste with a few details suggested by Pasta Cecchi. Simple, in 10 minutes you can make a plate of very fresh pasta with an intense taste of the sea to either serve warm with fresh eggs Tagliolini or at room temperature, for example prepared at home with short pasta such as fusilli and finally to eat on the beach by the sea.


Herring pasta is an excellent idea for preparing fish-based pasta recipes that combine classic aromas with summery flavours.


- 240g Fresh Tagliolini or others of our pasta choices assortment;

Pasta Cecchi tagliolini with herring, cherry tomatoes and capers for a perfect pasta recipe.

- 4 fresh herring fillets

- 8 cherry tomatoes

- 1 clove of garlic

- 120g white wine

- 1 tablespoon of capers

- extra virgin olive oil

- fine salt

- black pepper

- flat leaf parsley


Put some water on the fire to reach the boiling temperature and add a hint of salt, this is where you will cook the pasta later (min.1L/100g pasta).

Meanwhile, start preparing the sauce by cutting the cleaned fresh herring fillets into cubes or strips. Cut the cherry tomatoes into wedges, finely chop the parsley, set aside a spoonful of capers and pour the white wine into a container.


At this point, your mouth should be watering, so let's start cooking. Take a pan, preferably large to put the pasta in later, and put it on the fire to heat a little oil in which you will fry the clove of garlic at a lower temperature. When the garlic can rattle well, take it out and add the cherry tomatoes cut into wedges, cook them for about 4 minutes until they begin to soften, possibly with a lid to speed up the process and retain all their flavor into the pan.

It's time to add the herring fillets in pieces to the pan and immediately add the white wine, let the alcohol evaporate completely, this takes about 5 minutes, as soon as the smell of alcohol has disappeared you can add the capers and extinguish the fire. Mix well to season all ingredients and cover with the lid.


Now you can cook the fresh Tagliolini of Pasta Cecchi in boiling water and pour it off, still al dente, directly into the pan with the sauce, turn the heat back on and quickly fry it with the herring sauce, cherry tomatoes and capers so that the pasta can hold all the flavors.

Now serve pasta on the table and garnish with some chopped parsley and extra virgin olive oil, BUON APPETITO!

Pasta with Hollands Nieuwe


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