January is no time to be living on lettuce and water. March, maybe. January, just cruel. As if the sudden end of all things twinkly, boozy, foody, Pogues-y, party-y and Christmas 24-y isn’t bad enough.
Hearty food as ascribed by Gwyneth Paltrow – whether you like her or not – is the solution. Take this pasta puttanesca, for example.
Pasta puttanesca is one of the best undo-your-belt-an-extra-notch meals on the market- but coz it’s January *shudder*, Gwynnie’s version seemed most appropriate. It contain saintly amounts of olive oil and butter (um, none), about 10 of your 5 a day of tomatoes and anchovies and capers for that super-tasty, salty tang. As Gwyneth is regularly featured with a glass of vino in her hand in her first cookbook, I took this to mean that white wine was an integral part of the dish, so I uncorked a bottle toute de suite (well, I unscrewed the cap on one anyway…)
HERE’S HOW TO DO IT
Ingredients for 4:
2 cloves garlic, minced
½ tsp dried chilli flakes
6 anchovy fillets
2 tbsp olive oil
800g chopped tomatoes
3 basil leaves
100g black olives
1 tbsp capers
(A tin of responsibly sourced tuna – not on St Gwyn’s ingredients list)
Tomato sauce first
1. Gently fry your two minced cloves of garlic, in your oil, in a big saucepan
2. Add the dried chilli flakes and anchovy fillets
3. Stir for a bit until your anchovies begin to disappear into thin air
4. Turn up the heat and add your tomatoes – and your basil
5. Leave your pan to simmer for about 20 mins or so
6. At the 10 minute point, cook your pasta in boiling salted water
7. When pasta is cooked, drain – but save a bit of pasta water (cook’s tip!)
8. Chuck pasta into pan, along with olives and capers (and tuna, if you’re me)
9. Throw in pasta water if all looking a bit thick
10. Stir for a bit then serve
11. With a glass of wine.
Kitchen cock-ups: Weirdly, none. Except maybe, I’d have shared two bottles of wine rather than one.
Listened to: Technotronic – The Playlist, Pump Up The Jam (on Spotify). Yep.