The union between that most indispensable of fishes – the anchovy – and the tomato, is particularly embraced in the Mediterranean. From a simple Provencal salad of tomatoes, anchovy, shallots and parsley, to the starter I served at my first ever dinner party, Piedmont peppers, it’s a marriage that thrums of sunshine and sea.
Puttanesca is traditionally made with capers and olives, but this is a celebration of the simple love between anchovies and tomatoes, so I didn’t use them. Also, I didn’t have any.
Penne alla puttanesca
A small onion, peeled and finely chopped
1 clove garlic, peeled and crushed
1 red pepper, deseeded and finely sliced
12 anchovies, chopped
1 tin tomatoes
A pinch crushed chilli
A dash of double cream
A handful basil
Salt, pepper and sugar
- Sweat the onion and garlic in olive oil until soft.
- Season and add the peppers and chopped anchovy. Cover and cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- When the peppers are soft, add the tomatoes, chilli, and a pinch of sugar.
- Simmer gently whilst you cook the pasta.
- When the pasta is almost cooked, add the cream and basil.
- Drain the pasta and toss in the sauce.
- Serve in warm bowls with Parmesan and torn basil leaves.
What’s your favourite recipe using tomatoes and anchovies? What food couples am I missing out on?