I’m coming towards the end of the house restructuring project that I embarked upon in February 2009. Now that the kitchen is semi operational, we can begin having proper meals at home again.
This Friday I’ll have some friends around in the garden and in light of the warm temperatures we’re enjoying, I am going to do a pasta dish that is a variation on the previous Levantina recipe.
For this dish you will need:
Olive oil, fresh coarse ground black pepper, salt, garlic cloves, dry red chillies, fresh oregano leaves, one anchovy, capers, cherry tomatoes, small olives (of the Taggiasche variety) Grana Padano.
Place a pot of water on the heat and add salt.
As you wait for the water to come to a boil, start cutting the cherry tomatoes in half or three segments if they are very large.
Place abundant olive oil in a sautee pan along with the garlic cloves. Remember never to over heat the oil; it must be hot but it should not produce clearly visible smoke. Throughout this procedure you want to keep a lively frying action going in the pan. The ingredients you throw in, should sizzle all along without burning. As the garlic starts to become translucent add the anchovy and pulp it. As the anchovy melts, add the capers. By now the garlic should be going towards a nice golden color. Add the olives and the chillies before the gold color of the garlic turns to brown. After a about 30 seconds, you want to throw in the cherry tomatoes. At this point you can turn up the heat. Tomatoes contain a lot of water so you don’t want to interrupt the sizzling action and you want to sautee quickly till the skin of the tomatoes goes wrinkly. It is not a bad idea to get some of the tomato skin to char on the edges if you can. The charring will add flavor. Finally add some oregano leaves and sautee minimally. Add salt to taste and give a generous sprinkle of black pepper. Set aside.
As the spaghetti comes to be al dente, place the sautee pan with the mixture on the heat again. Drain the pasta and retain a cup of cooking water. Throw a still generously wet pasta into the sauce pan. Sautee on a lively fire and use the cup of cooking water you kept on the side to adjust the consistency of the mixture. This is not a “saucy” pasta. It should come out juicy and relatively wet but should not be swimming in sauce.
Serve pasta along with oregano leaves and Grana rocks on the side for people to help themselves.