Quickest, tastiest spaghetti with a twist

Daily Dish: Want to know how to cook pasta? Ask Ireland's favourite Italian Manuela Spinelli

Puttanesca pasta with olives, tomatoes, capers and anchovies

Puttanesca pasta with olives, tomatoes, capers and anchovies

 

My go-to simple dinner is, not surprisingly, pasta. I like simple pasta with a few ingredients. There is always something available in the cupboard to put together a great bowl of pasta.

November is Food Month in The Irish Times. irishtimes.com/foodmonth
November is Food Month in The Irish Times. irishtimes.com/foodmonth

Tomatoes, olive oil, capers, olives, Parmesan cheese, garlic and anchovies are staples in my pantry. You will be surprised how many wonderful dishes you can prepare with these few key ingredients.

My absolute go-to are spaghetti alla puttanesca; pasta aglio, olio, peperoncino; spaghetti al pomodoro and linguine al pesto.

For me personally, there is nothing better than simple flavours.

SPAGHETTI ALLA PUTTANESCA

Serves 4

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What you’ll need:

350g dried spaghetti
4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
400g tin chopped tomatoes
2 garlic cloves
3 salted anchovies, rinsed, boned, and chopped or 6 anchovy fillets
2 pinches dried chilli flakes
1 tbsp capers, rinsed
100g black olives, pitted and sliced
Sea salt

How to cook it:

1. Add two tablespoons of salt to two litres of water and bring to the boil in a large saucepan. Add the spaghetti and return to the boil quickly. Cook until al dente.

2. While the pasta is cooking, put the olive oil, chilli, anchovies and garlic in a large pan and cook for one minute until the anchovies are reduced to a paste.

3. Add the tomatoes, olives and capers and cook for a further five minutes.

4. Drain the pasta and place in the pan with the tomato sauce, tossing for one minute. Serve hot

Manuela Spinelli is Secretary General at Euro-Toques Ireland and a freelance interpreter who worked with Giovanni Trapattoni when he was manager of the Republic of Ireland soccer team

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