Food. Travel. Recipes.

Thursday, 10 November 2011

Pasta Puttanesca (à la Sophie Dahl)

This is a great, easy pasta dish. Just to pre warn, if you don't like fish, then this is not for you! The dish contains anchovies, which I think give a lovely salty taste and it just kind of makes me think I'm in Italy, having dinner in a lovely seaside town, eating delicious fishy tomato chilli pasta. This (as the title may give away!) is from Sophie Dahl's Miss Dahl's Voluptous Delights, a book I have mentioned numerous times (mainly for the amazing banana bread!). The recipes in the book are so fresh and for the majority of the time, healthy as well. Of course, this is a pasta dish, so it's not terribly nutritious but it's a great tasting sauce and really spruces up some plain penne!

Serves 2 people (but just double up these portions for family sized!)


200g of penne (I used rigatoni but any kind of pasta should work!)
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 clove garlic, peeled and chopped
1 fresh red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
400g tin of chopped tomatoes, drained
4 anchovy fillets
1/2 teaspoon of soft brown sugar
150g black olives, pitted
2 large tablespoons of fresh chopped parsley (I used dried to sprinkle over the top which still gave a lovely fragrant taste. Fresh would however be better here in my opinion!)

Ok, this recipe is in 2 easy steps!

Step 1, is the saucy sauce! In a pan, heat the olive oil and fry the garlic and chilli until mildly browned.

Add the tin of chopped tomatoes.

Sophie recommends using a pestle and mortar here to grind the anchovies, which would be the most sensible choice. I just used the back of a fork and squished them in their tin, then added them to the tomato sauce mix.

Let the sauce simmer for a further 20 minutes. Add the sugar.

Step 2, cook the pasta as directed in some salted water. Once the pasta is cooked and drained, add it to the tomato sauce with a spoonful of the salty pasta water. Add the black olives and coat the pasta well with the sauce.

Serve with a generous grating of parmesan and parsley. Buon appetito!

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