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 chefs, including 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
- 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.
- Add the olives and capers, stir-fry for a minute. Then add the tomatoes, oregano and parsley.
- Lower the heat, cover with a lid and simmer gently for 20 minutes.
- Meanwhile cook the pasta according to the packet instructions, until al dente.
- 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.
- Serve immediately.