Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Puttanesca With Lovage

I'm sure Italians will be horrified by the intrusion of lovage into a puttanesca sauce, but I really like it as it adds a warmth and richness.

Serves 8

2 tins tuna in brine
3 tins peeled plum tomatoes
2 large handfuls of lovage, finely chopped
2 medium carrots, finely chopped
olive oil
50g anchovies (paste or chopped)
6 cloves garlic, crushed or finely chopped
3 large chillies, finely chopped
1 large/2 medium onions, finely chopped
1 heaped teaspoon mixed herbs
100g unpitted olives
120g capers in vinegar

  • Gently fry onions for 4 minutes, then add carrots, frying all until soft but not browned.
  • Add garlic and chillies, frying for 2 minutes
  • Add lovage and herbs, stir
  • Add tomatoes, tomato paste, anchovies and drained tuna, bringing to simmer
  • Meanwhile, pit the olives by hand and add to the pan.
  • Simmer gently for 30 mins or until reduced to a thick sauce, checking seasoning. The briny tuna should provide most of the salt you need.
  • Boil pasta of your choice in salted water until al dente- I like fusilli or orchietti to catch the robust flavours of the sauce
  • Add capers to sauce once the pasta is on - a bit of the vinegar won't hurt either
  • Toss sauce into drained pasta sparingly - the sauce should be quite strongly flavoured and should go a long way!

Serve with freshly ground black pepper and grated parmesan or pecorino to taste.

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