pasta puttanesca

pasta puttanescaWatching Iron Chef has become more than just an after dinner sport – in fact, it’s been an inspiration for dinner. Take the episode featuring sturgeon: the boy has a “oh-I’m-so-going-to-make-that” moment as Iron Chef Symon whips out a sturgeon puttanesca (check out wikipedia for its etymology: a quick dish to be made between turning tricks). The lovely photo is from the boy’s version 2 rendition, served when his mum was up visiting. Relatives with a cars mean having a chance to explore places that we would’ve unfortunately missed otherwise (not exactly bike-able or bus-able to beyond the corners of London) : one stop at the Arva flour mill in Arva, and one to White’s Cider Mill in Lambeth. Too bad we didn’t have a chance to meet Mike at the flour mill – the owner is a friend of the chefs at The Only. Oh well, perhaps we’ll meet him at one of his frequent trips to the restaurant and chat bread. Purchases his store included a 10kg bag of flour, some semolina, local eggs and the most wonderful caramels. At the apple cider mill: pressed apples for drinking and cider making, cherry juice, and goodies to ferment cider.

With a lack of capers in our kitchen (something I’ve yet to learn to appreciate), the puttanesca tomato sauce featured olives, anchovies and chilli flakes, with catfish (yum!) thrown in at the end. The semolina was smooth and elastic, much easier to work with than all purpose flour and resulting in thinner hand-rolled sheets (our next kitchen purchase, after a sharpening stone, may be a hand operated pasta machine). Needless to say, it was absolutely delicious.

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4 comments
  1. Ryan J said:

    Rock and Roll glad to see ur back on the blog. I have been checking it every once in a while as part of my rounds through internet reading. Hope you and Jeff are settling in well in London!-Ryan J.

  2. Ric said:

    That looks very tasty indeed! Although I think it’s a shame not to include capers, because they really add something special to puttanesca.Adding fish is a really good idea. We often add a can of good-quality tuna (in olive oil) when we make it.

  3. Phronk said:

    That looks pretty delicious for something that can apparently be translated as “smells like a whore.”P.S. Awesome blog you’ve got here.- Phronk (Mike B’s secret internet identity)

  4. Sara said:

    Puttanesca always sounds like some kind of insult to me. But what do I know being resolutely monolingual! Simple recipes are always the best. I'm gonna try to add this to my regular list of pasta recipes.

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