Perfecting Pasta

A spicy sauce to complement any noodle

I’m a huge fan of all things pasta. In fact, it’s my favorite go-to staple for quick weeknight-or any night-meals.

I do tend to prefer tomato-based dishes like Bolognese, with fresh basil and lasagna, but for me, spaghetti is the ultimate comfort food. Pair it with a nice crusty bread and butter and I’m in heaven!

One of my close friends in Indiana grew up in Trinidad and she takes an interestingly eclectic approach to seasoning food. Our families usually spend Thanksgivings together and every year, we count down the days to enjoying some of her signature dishes once again.

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During one of our visits, she made a big batch of spaghetti that I embarrassed myself devouring-going back for “just one more” serving over and over again. After about the sixth, it was hands down the most flavorful spaghetti I had ever had. That is until I found this recipe!

As a collector of cookbooks, I couldn’t pass up a compilation of pasta sauces I once happened upon. All of the recipes sounded delicious and the pictures were amazing but the one recipe that stood out for me to try first was one that called for anchovies and capers. Something about the utilization of the anchovies was intriguing to me.

What happens is the anchovy fillets will dissolve in olive oil when heated thus rendering an intense salty essence to flavor the dish without being fishy. I had never tasted nor worked with anchovies before, but this I had to try! It was a symphony of different flavors and textures bursting in my mouth! Not at all the unpopular pizza topping I always heard about.

The recipe calls for black olives which I omit and typically avoid as a general rule-those I know I don’t like! Otherwise, I follow the basic recipe and it has been a huge hit time and again. It’s quick enough to whip up mid-week and special enough for company. I like to toss in a few sun-dried tomatoes for an irresistible chewy burst of flavor.

Experiment. Have fun. But, do indeed try this recipe. It just may change your life!

Bon Appetit!

Spaghetti with Anchovies, Capers and Black Olives

The Essentials Collection | Pasta Sauces

INGREDIENTS

  • 6 tbsp olive oil   
  • 1/2 tsp dried chili flakes  
  • 4 anchovy fillets, chopped
  • salt & pepper
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 12 oz dried spaghetti
  • 1 lb canned chopped
  • 10-12 black olives, pitted & sliced
  • tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp capers, drained
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  1. Heat the oil with the anchovies in a large skillet over a low heat. Stir until the anchovies dissolve.
  2. Add the garlic and cook for a few seconds, or until just beginning to color. Add the tomatoes, oregano, and chili flakes, then season with salt & pepper.
  3. Bring to a boil, then simmer over a medium-low heat for 30 minutes, or until the oil begins to separate from the tomatoes.
  4. Cook the pasta in plenty of boiling salted water until al dente. Drain and transfer to a warm serving dish.
  5. Add the olives and capers to the sauce. Pour over the pasta and toss well to mix. 
  6. Serve immediately-though, as spaghetti often goes, it’s even better the next day!

Get more from Celeste at CIVeganPastries.com.

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