Our Spanish & Italian Buxers new immediately what I meant with this dish: Spaghetti alla putana. A working girl’s pasta is what Jamie Oliver calls it… let’s stick with that translation. In all languages the translation of this pasta dish passed the table for lunch. That’s what you get when you put a bunch of internationals together in one room. 😉
It simply is delicious, easy and quick to prepare. I did add some tuna fish (400gram, tinned) to this recipe for some more body.
Ingredients (Serves: 4-6)
3 tablespoons olive oil
8 anchovies (drained and finely chopped)
2 cloves garlic (peeled and finely sliced, crushed or grated)
½ teaspoon dried chilli flakes (or 2 tablespoons pickled red jalapeno chilli peppers, drained, sliced and diced)
500 grams spaghetti
1 x 400 grams can chopped tomatoes
150 grams (drained weight) pitted black olives (chopped a bit)
2 tablespoons small capers (rinsed and drained)
3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley (to serve – optional)
salt (to taste)
pepper (to taste)
Put water for pasta on to boil, though you don’t need to get started on the sauce until itis pretty well boiling.
Pour the oil into a wide, shallow frying pan, casserole or wok, and put on a medium heat.
Add the finely chopped anchovies and cook for about 3 minutes, pressing and pushing with a wooden spoon, until the anchovies have almost “melted”, then add the garlic and chilli flakes (or sliced then diced jalapeños) and cook, stirring for another minute.
This is probably the stage at which you will want to be salting the boiling pasta water and adding the spaghetti to cook according to packet instructions.
Going back to the sauce, add the tomatoes, olives and capers and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring every now and again, by which time it will have thicken slightly. Taste for seasoning.
Just before the pasta is ready, remove about an espresso cupful of cooking water, and reserve it. When the pasta is cooked as desired, drain and add the spaghetti to the sauce in your wok or pan, adding a little reserved pasta water, if needed, to help amalgamate the sauce. Scatter with chopped parsley, if there’s some to hand, and serve in slatternly style, preferably with an untipped cigarette clamped between crimson-painted lips.