Memorial Day has come and gone and, around here, that means the weekends are spent at the beach. Unless I plan ahead and throw something in the crockpot in the morning, or order a pizza to the beach, dinner turns into a throw-together meal. Pasta is a perfect meal that everyone around here likes and, depending on your dietary restrictions, you can use regular pasta, gluten-free, or even zucchini noodles. I love this recipe for spaghetti alla puttanesca from Jamie Oliver. I always make sure we have olives and anchovies in the pantry and, in the summer, we have an abundance of tomatoes and basil growing in the garden. It’s the perfect summertime dinner.
(image and recipe from Jamie Oliver)
400 g dried spaghetti (I use a 16 oz package)
4 garlic cloves, peeled and finely sliced
3 anchovy fillets, chopped
2 fresh red chillies, sliced (seeds in)
a small handful of black olives, destoned
2 handfuls very ripe cherry tomatoes, halved
a small bunch of fresh basil, leaves picked
Parmesan cheese, to serve
Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil, then add the spaghetti and cook according to packet instructions.
Meanwhile, place a large frying pan over a medium–high heat. Add a good lug of olive oil, followed by the garlic, anchovy and chilli. Tear in the olives and stir for 2 minutes, or until the garlic starts to turn golden and the anchovies melt into the base. Add the cherry tomatoes, a good splash of pasta water and cover with a lid. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes, or until the cherry tomatoes start to cook down slightly.
Drain the pasta, reserving a cupful of cooking water.
Add the basil to the sauce along with the pasta and a splash of the reserved cooking water, to loosen. Have a taste and season if needed. Transfer to a serving platter and top with a good shaving of fresh Parmesan.
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