This is another easy healthy dinner that is perfect for tiding you through a busy work week, since its easy to make and adapt to whatever ingredients you have around.
Traditional spaghetti alla puttanesca stars olives, capers, anchovies, tomato and chilli. The flavours are strong and fabulous – eating this will transport you to southern italy! My version is a little different, simply because I’ve tailored it to my own tastes – I don’t like capers – and to what I had around my kitchen. So I missed out olives and added in some home-grown courgette and mushrooms.
Here’s what you need to make it –
- olive oil and garlic
- 1 onion or red onion
- veggies, of your choice
- 4 anchovies
- 3 plum tomatoes and a couple of tablespoons of tomato pasta sauce (or use tinned tomatoes)
- cheese or breadcrumbs and basil, to garnish
To start, dice up your onion and throw it in the pan with some chopped garlic or garlic puree and olive oil. Move the onion around constantly so that it sautes but doesn’t brown too much. Then add the courgette and mushrooms.
At this point your kitchen will start to smell amazing.
Cook everything down for about 5 minutes and then add the tomato sauce. Put your spaghetti onto cook (mine takes about 4 minutes).
Once the spaghetti is cooked, remove from the heat and drain and then add it to the pan with the veggies and tomato sauce. Stir it around until everything is incorporated. At this point, add the anchovies, right before you’re about to serve. You can cut them up or they’re easy to just tear with your hand too.
To serve, put your pasta and veggies into a bowl and add whatever garnish you prefer. Basil, parmesan, breadcrumbs and lemon zest all taste great. Did you know that adding fried breadcrumbs to pasta as a garnish instead of parmesan is a southern italian tradition – because most people were too poor to be able to afford the cheese.
I used breadcrumbs, cheese AND lemon zest, because I’m greedy. If you like pasta, you should definitely try it with some lemon zest on top, it makes SUCH a difference. Lovely!