Thursday, 27 August 2015

Twisted Temptress!

Pasta alla Puttanesca
"Whores Pasta" with Tomatoes, Capers, Black Olives, Garlic, Chili & Parsley


First things first this evening-I want you to all know how much I love my mom. But now to the import at part of this message... A word of warning to those of you out there that love YOUR moms too... Don't talk to them on the phone when you are making this dish! Otherwise you might get sidetracked, like I did, and forget o add one of the most important ingredients... Like I did !!!

Anchovies are one of the main ingredients in this dish and I could kick myself for having fetched them out and then STILL having forgotten them... And it would have been better with them for sure... But was still pretty delicious even without! So... Mom! I love you! And everyone else... Don't forget to add your anchovies!


There are many theories as to why exactly this dish is named "pasta in the style of a whore", but chances are that it is because it is so quick and easy to make, that it can easily be put together in-between clients visits...

And maybe also because it is a very 'saucy' tasting dish too! This is flat-out temptation with little time for subtlety! And that's just my style! Hehe!


Yes, yes, I know there could be a caption here, asking "which is the missing ingredient?", so let's begin with that one. You will need anchovies! There- I've said it! Now could we please move on? I am already embarrassed enough as it is!

For 2 portions of pasta, you will need 2-3 anchovies, 1 clove of garlic, 1 shallot, 9-10 cherry tomatoes, 5-6 black olives, 1 tablespoon of capers, 1 tablespoon of tomato purée, plenty of parsley, salt, pepper, chili flakes and olive oil... It's as simple as that! Use your pasta of choice and grate with Parmesan, Grana or in my case with salted ricotta... And you have a meal on your hands (or your plates!), that is so seductive, it would make a whore blush!


Here it is, in all of its juicy, naked, seductive glory... You know you want it!

Whilst your pasta water is coming up to the boil, start frying your finely chopped garlic and shallot (or onion if you prefer) in plenty of olive oil, with a good pinch of chili flakes.


Once the shallot has become translucent and the garlic has slightly begun to brown, add the cherry tomatoes, diced and the olives, also roughly diced and season with pepper... And salt in this case- otherwise, this is when you should add your anchovies!

Stir-fry for 3-4 minutes and then pop in your pasta to boil, before carrying on with the sauce.


Once the tomatoes have softened up and reduced down, add the tomato purée and the capers and stir them into the mix too, for a further 3-4 minutes.

After the pasta has boiled for 5 minutes or so, drain off most of the water, but transfer it to the frying pan with plenty enough to well cover the base, so that it will both deglaze all of the good flavors in there, but also be sufficient to finish the cooking process for a further 2-3 minutes.


After 2-3 minutes of stirring in the pan, the water will have reduced down with the purée and the tomatoes and turned them into a nice, saucy, delicious and rich coating for the pasta. All you need to do now is add a generous pinch of parsley, a last drizzle of olive oil, to give it a good stir or toss through... And to serve it up, piping hot!


And if you can resist the temptation that I am presenting to you here boys and girls,,, then I suppose you are much holier a man than I! I mean... I would just jump into that dish, head-first, with a fork and think of the old country! And enjoy!


To make things complete, a scattering of rich and salty ricotta and a last toss to get all of those flavors combined... And the reckless abandon ensues!


...and it may be a little spicy, it may be a little naughty, but it is also very, very nice indeed! Go on, have a bite... No one needs to know...

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