Posts Tagged ‘Capers’

Salsa Verdi – the best thing since sliced bread

June 3, 2010

Salsa verdi

This should definitely be on my Julie Andrews list of “favourite things”.

The easiest and most fabulously zingy sauce in the world.

Don’t be put off by the “scary” anchovies (if you are a hater of my furry little fishy friends) – I guarantee if you tasted the sauce and didn’t know it had anchovies in it you would never be able to tell. You would just say “what makes this sauce taste so amazing”. And I would chuckle and say “lots of love”.

Ingredients:

Large bunch of flat leaf parsley
2 cloves of garlic
Baby salted capers (brine will do but definitely not ones in vinegar – yuck)
Anchovies
2 large lemons
Extra virgin olive oil
Pepper

Take a table-spoon of capers and rinse to remove excess salt.

Remove thick stalks from parsley and finely chop.

Crush garlic and add to the parsley.

Add 3 anchovy fillets (or 4 smallish ones) to the parsley with the rinsed capers. Finely chop the whole lot together.

Pop in a bowl and add the juice of one of your lemons, a glug of olive oil (about 2 table spoons) and some freshly ground black pepper.

Taste sauce and add more lemon or oil if desired.

Some people add some fresh mint and also I have seen people add Dijon mustard but I don’t think you really need to. Additionally you can add more capers or anchovies, it really is a “to taste” sauce. If you have a food processor you can pop all the ingredients into it and give it a whiz however it will make a much smoother sauce. I quite like it a little chunkier and rustic.

Serve with grilled or oven baked fish, lamb, chicken or toss through boiled potatoes. Another option is to mix a spoonful through some mayonnaise and use it in sandwiches or salads or as a dip for lovely crisp potato wedges. It is without a doubt a total winner of a sauce and makes every meal something special.

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My most favourite pasta sauce ever

May 20, 2010

Tomato Caper and Anchovy Linguini

I really do think that it is important to have a good selection of “stuff” in your store cupboard for those “I can’t be bothered to shop for dinner” moments. You know the times when you arrive home after a full on day at work, it’s 8pm, and the last thing you want to do is get a dodgy Chinese take away. There is also absolutely no chance you can be bothered to go to the supermarket. All you want is a home cooked meal.

With a few bits and pieces you can easily throw together something fabulous best of all it is easy and quick.

Woo Hoo!

This recipe is my fail safe. I ended up making it yesterday because I was given 1 1/2 kilos of lovely vine ripened tomatoes and they needed used up ASAP. Now normally I would use the tinned variety so don’t worry I am not going to expect you to conveniently have 1 kilo of vine ripened tomatoes on hand.

There is one ingredient in the sauce that is a little controversial. Anchovies.

I am sure many of you are already tuning out at the sheer mention of anchovies however I promise you that it is worth giving this a go even if you absolutely HATE anchovies. Honestly they are only used to enhance the flavour of the sauce and they do not overpower – I promise.

1 kg of fresh ripe tomatoes or 2 tins of good quality peeled tomatoes
4 large cloves of garlic
1 red medium red onion
1 table spoon of salted capers (do not use the ones in vinegar – you can use the ones in brine but I prefer the salted ones)
1 teaspoon of chili flakes
3 or 4 anchovy fillets
Fresh herbs (Parsley or Basil) if you have it
Extra virgin olive oil
Salt and Pepper
1 packet of Linguine (you could use Spaghetti, Penne etc)
Fresh Parmesan (Reggiano or Padano)

Finely chopped onion and garlic

Finely chop the onions and garlic, add to a heavy based pan with a small pinch of salt and a good glug of oil.

Chili being added to sauted onions and garlic

Saute until sweet and soft, add anchovy fillets (mine were massive so I only used 2), teaspoon of chili and rinsed capers. It is really important to rinse the capers well as it can make the sauce too salty if you do not.

Anchovies and capers being added

You can adjust the chili amount to your taste – 1 teaspoon will give the sauce a bit of a kick but will definitely not burn your head off.

Cook anchovies until they have melted.

Tomatoes being added

Peel the tomatoes by cutting a cross in the bottom of the tomato and popping into boiling water (I put the tomatoes into bowl and poured boiled water over them). Leave them in the hot water for a minute of two then peel – the skins should come off easily – if not pop them back into the boiling water for a minute of so longer.

Once peeled roughly chop them and add to the pot, bring to the boil and then simmer.

Cook sauce until all the tomatoes have disintegrated and the sauce has thickened and become lovely and “saucy”. This should take about 25 – 35 mins.

Sauce reduced and ready to mix into cooked pasta

Cook pasta (500 grams) using the recommended cooking time on the packet, make sure you always cook pasta in a big pot with lots of water with a large pinch of salt. You do not need to add oil.

Pasta added to pot of boiling water

Once pasta is cooked drain well and put back into the pot, add sauce to pot and mix through.

Add a handful of chopped herbs in you have some at hand – it is always worthwhile having some parsley or basil in the garden for these occasions. Season to taste – you probably won’t need salt.

Pasta with tomato anchovy and caper sauce

Serve immediately with a drizzle of good extra virgin oil and a sprinkling of freshly grated Parmesan.

A total winner when you are needing an easy quick dish to fill your empty tummy.