It was one of those evenings where ‘C’ was out of town for business, so I didn’t really feel like making a huge meal, but at the same time wanted something substantial to eat for dinner. I had walked home from Spanish class and was freezing (someone forgot to inform me that it actually gets cold in Mexico!) so I was in the mood for something hot and comforting!
Putanesca is one of my all time favorite dishes to make when I’m coming home late (because it is so quick and easy), or even if I have nothing else in my cupboard, I know I will ALWAYS have tomatoes, capers and olives and some kind of fresh and dried herb kicking about my cupboard or fridge. Throw all these ingredients together – and you have made a fantastic sauce be it for pasta, grilled chicken, a firm white fish or even grilled Portobello mushrooms!
However if you happen to have some anchovies at hand – you have yourself a sensational pasta sauce!!
Serves 2: What you need:
- 2-3 cloves of garlic, diced
- Half a medium red onion, diced
- Half a jar of anchovy fillets
- Dash of cayenne pepper
- 3 medium sized tomatoes, diced
- Handful of olives, roughly chopped
- 2 tablespoons of capers
- Parsley, chopped
Before you do anything, put a pot of salted water on the hob to boil the pasta.
While the water is heating up, pour a lug of olive oil in your flying pan (two turns around the pan is usually sufficient!). When the oil is hot enough throw in the diced garlic, onion and dash of cayenne pepper and stir around for a minute or two before you put in the anchovy fillets. Once the fillets are in the pan, sauté the mixture until the anchovies completely dissolve (don’t be scared of this…they will melt!)! If you absolutely hate anchovies you can skip this step entirely.
While you are waiting for the anchovies to simmer down, quickly dice the tomatoes and then throw them into the pan. By this point your water for the pasta should be ready, put your pasta in the pot, and while you are waiting for the pasta to cook, let the tomatoes simmer. Throw in the chopped olives, capers and parsley and let it all simmer together until the pasta is cooked (10-11 mins).
Drain the pasta, pour the sauce over the top – give it a quick mix – and your ready to eat!