‘Blast From the Past Recipe’

Pasta alla Puttanesca (Serves 4)

For this month’s ‘Blast From the Past’, I thought I’d revisit a classic Italian pasta recipe. Pasta alla Puttanesca is not only delicious but incredibly simple to make. There are various versions of this pasta sauce, but I particularly like this one from Gennaro Contaldo; it is a lovely thick sauce with just the right amount salt from the anchovies. It’s another recipe which I’ve taken from one of my favourite cookbooks, ‘Cook: A Year in the Kitchen with Britain’s Favourite Chefs’, which has numerous recipes from different chefsincluding Gennaro Contaldo.

6 tablespoons olive oil

4 cloves garlic, peeled, left whole and crushed with the flat blade of a knife

1 small red chilli, finely chopped

6 anchovy fillets

35 black olives, stoned and sliced in half

2 tablespoon capers

300g tinned chopped tomatoes

1 teaspoon dried oregano

A large handful parsley, chopped

400g linguine or spaghetti (gluten free if required)

Salt to taste

  1. Heat the oil in a large frying pan, add the garlic, chilli and anchovy fillets. Fry until the anchovies have melted and the garlic is golden brown.
  2. Add the olives and capers, stir-fry for a minute. Then add the tomatoes, oregano and parsley.
  3. Lower the heat, cover with a lid and simmer gently for 20 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile cook the pasta according to the packet instructions, until al dente.
  5. Drain the pasta and add to the sauce, stir well so that the pasta absorbs the flavours of the sauce – if you feel that the sauce is too dry add a tablespoon or two of hot pasta water.
  6. Serve immediately.

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