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Puttanesca – Courtesan’s Spaghetti by Katie & Giancarlo Caldesi

From The Long & Short of Pasta (Hardie Grant), Photography by Helen Cathcart

It is said that the ladies of the night would make this quick sauce for extra energy using their store-cupboard ingredients.  However, our friend Michelina, showed us this version made with fresh cherry tomatoes rather than the canned variety.  I absolutely love the punchy, spicy flavours & cook it regularly for quick lunches.


Serves 4

Ingredients

3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

1 large garlic clove, lightly crushed

½ - 1 fresh red chilli, finely chopped

2 heaped tbsps black olives, pitted & halved

1 heaped tbsp capers, drained & rinsed if salted

6 anchovy fillets

Large handful of parsley, finely chopped

350g (12oz) cherry tomatoes, quartered

Salt, if necessary

350g (12oz) spaghetti, to serve




Method

Make sure you have all the ingredients to hand & then cook the pasta in a large pan of well-salted boiling water.  

Heat the oil in a large frying pan & fry the garlic & chilli, followed by the olives, capers & anchovies.  Stir frequently to break up the anchovies.  

Add the parsley & stir through.  

After 2 mins, add the tomatoes.  Taste the sauce & season if necessary.  

Cook for another couple of mins.

When the pasta is ready, use tongs to lift it from the saucepan directly into the frying pan, along with a tablespoon of cooking water to lengthen the sauce.  

Serve immediately.

Variation:  use tinned tomatoes instead of fresh, & instead of the anchovies, gently stir through good-quality tinned tuna at the last minute.

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