I love simple food; cooked with fresh and seasonal ingredients it helps to capture the moment. Tomatoes are one of those summer ingredients that capture the heat, warmth and excitement of the season and cooking with them is always a treat.
With this in mind we had a few friends over at the weekend and what better to feed them with than some beautiful fresh tomato sauce and pasta. Washed down with copious amounts of red wine I think it’s a pretty good way to spend a Friday evening.
I really like the salty savoury taste of Anchovies with my sauce so I’d opted for Puttanesca sauce. Tomatoes, Olives, Capers and Anchovies... simple and delicious doused liberally with Parmigiano it’s pretty heavenly.
This is possibly quite an old school way of cooking a tomato sauce but the dish itself is a fairly modern creation originating in Southern Italy in the mid 20th century.
According to Wiki this was either invented by an Italian cook called Sandro Petti or it’s the traditional food of Italian whores who couldn’t go shopping much so had to make do with the odds and end in the pantry. You decide which is more likely?
Ingredients for 6 people:
Tomatoes – 6 Large Fresh vine should do, 1 tin of Plum tomatoes chopped in juice for bulk and pureed for that additional tomato kick.
Stock Veg – 3 or 4 sticks of Celery, 2 Red Onion, 3 or 4 Garlic Cloves and 2 Carrots all chopped finely.
Anchovies – I love them so a whole tin.
Olives – Black or Green whichever you prefer. Chopped.
Capers – Whole or Caper Paste, whatever you’ve got.
This is Whores Spaghetti after all so I’ve thrown a bit Sausage in as well. I’ve used a spicy Italian sausage for that extra peppery kick.
Stock 250ml of Fresh Beef, Chicken or Veg whatever your preference is.
Red Wine - Lets not go crazy here as you should use the good stuff and it's for the drinking as well.
Seasoning – Season before you serve to taste not before.
This is an incredibly simple, got a big pan and put it on the heat:
Sweat off the Stock Veg in the oil from the Anchovies till soft, throw in the sausage after shredding it up. Chuck in your fresh tomatoes after chopping them roughly. Throw in the Olives, Capers and Anchovies at this stage.
You are wanting to sweat down all the fresh ingredients on a gentle heat until they are soft and the tomatoes are losing their shape. This can all be done really easily while drinking and chatting to people so it's all the better for an easy meal.
Pour in your stock, a squidge of tomato puree and some red wine then stir. Bring it to a gentle simmer and walk away and drink some wine. This will be good after a few minutes but let it cook down for a while and it’s even better check seasoning your at the end.
Cook your pasta and serve with lots of grated Parmesan on top, none of that shaved parmesan bullshit. Oh and if you are doing things right your friends should be pretty drunk by now so don’t worry if you haven’t cooked your pasta al dente.