Spaghetti alla Puttanesca
You’ll find a lot of recipes for Spaghetti alla Puttanesca out there (all the big names – Jamie Oliver, Nigella, Nigel Slater and the lovely Felicity Cloake to name just a few) and you can even find jarred sauces (NO!) but I will not deviate from this here recipe. Using fresh cherry tomatoes just makes a world of difference and I have found a balance that for me, is perfection. I want to eat this all the time and everyday. That’s why I buy my capers in bulk, and try to keep a basil plant alive at all times (not with great success sadly).
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 5 cloves garlic
- 2 fresh red chillies deseeded & finely sliced
- 650 g cherry tomatoes
- 4 tbsp black olives
- 2 tbsp capers
- 5 anchovies in oil
- Large handful of basil leaves
- 500 g spaghetti
- Zest of half a lemon
- When all your ingredients are chopped and ready – heat the oil in a large, heavy based sauce pan or high sided frying pan on a medium/high heat. Add the sliced garlic and chillies and fry until the garlic just starts to colour; then add the tomatoes, capers, olives, anchovies and basil and give it a good stir. Season with some black pepper (the anchovies, capers & olives add a lot of saltiness already).
- Turn the heat down to medium/low and allow to simmer gently for about 10-15 minutes, until the tomatoes are softening and the sauce starts coming together. Stir every few minutes to help the tomatoes break down and to make sure the sauce doesn’t catch on the bottom of the pan.
- Cook the spaghetti or linguini in plenty of salted, boiling water until al dente. Stir the lemon zest into the sauce just before serving. Drain the spaghetti and add to the pan with the sauce and toss it all together. Serve the pasta sprinkled with basil and a pinch of lemon zest.