Saturday, September 6, 2014

Spaghetti alla Puttanesca

The first time I tried to make this recipe I failed miserably, and it ended up in the bin. In fact, it was the first of only two times I have had to bin something I had cooked (the second time being a Greek fish dish). I had given up completely on puttanesca, until one fateful afternoon on the streets of London when I popped into a small Italian café and decided to give it a try, made by the professionals.

It was delicious.

Driven by this amazing pasta dish, that remains a culinary highlight of my time in London, I have figured out an amazing recipe for it. The fact it’s ready in less than 15 minutes, using pantry staples, means that this dish is now right at the top of my “go to” basics for when friends pop around unexpectedly.

Note: you need to multitask a little bit with this dish, cooking the spaghetti as the sauce simmers.

Additional Note: You don't have to add pasta water to anything if you don't drain your pasta to the point it is as dry as the sahara.


What Will I Need?
1/4 cup olive oil
3 anchovy fillets
1 tsp minced chilli
3 garlic cloves, diced
400g tin diced tomatoes
3/4 cup pitted black olives
1 tbsp capers

500g spaghetti

What Now?
1. Pasta: Put a large pot of water on to boil.

2. Sauce: In a large, deep sided frying pan over a medium-high heat, add the oil and the anchovy. Sautee and anchovy, and using a wooden spoon, break down the fillets until “melted” into the oil.

3. Sauce: Add the garlic and chilli, and stir through, cooking for about a minute.

4. Sauce: Next, stir through the tomatoes, olives and capers and heat through until bubbling, and attend to the pasta.

5. Pasta: Add the spaghetti and a teaspoon of salt to the boiling water.

6. Sauce: Let the sauce simmer and thicken whilst the pasta cooks.

7. Pasta: Decant the spaghetti into a strainer just before it is al dente. Add the spaghetti to the sauce and stir through, letting the spaghetti cook in the sauce for about a minute..

8. Divide between bowls and serve.