Making this meal was like opening a time capsule to myself. I’d bought the ingredients in jars and cans about a month ago, in anticipation of one day lacking fresh ingredients, except for garlic and parsley, with which to make a meal. So, like chicken adobo, it’s another delicous meal that can be made quickly with a minimum of ingredients (especially fresh ones), and is a step up from, say, frozen dinners. This recipe, too, can be customized however you’d like, adding more or less garlic, capers, anchovies, or olives… or anything else that you may want to add. My only point of confusion was that the original recipe insinuated that only the plum tomatoes should be used for the sauce, but after cooking down the tomatoes into a loose mass, I decided that I wanted a saucy sauce, so I added in the juices from the can and cooked it down a bit more. I’ve never ordered this in a restaurant, so I didn’t know exactly how liquid-y the sauce was supposed to be… but I knew what I like. I also didn’t add nearly as much olive oil as specified… probably more like 3/4 tsp. The recipe has also been changed around a little to reflect a “mise-en-place” idea. Rather than chopping tomatoes as you’re sauteing the garlic for such a short time, I think it’s better to have everything ready to go before you start.
adapted from Mark Bittman, NYTimes
3 to 6 servings.
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 or more cloves garlic, peeled and minced
3 or more anchovy fillets
1 28-ounce can whole plum tomatoes, diced or crushed with fork or hands, juice reserved
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
½ cup pitted black olives, preferably oil-cured
2 tablespoons capers
Crushed red pepper flakes to taste
1 pound linguine or other long pasta [I used penne]
Chopped fresh parsley, oregano, marjoram or basil leaves for garnish, optional.
Bring pot of water to boil and salt it liberally.
Warm 2 tablespoons oil with garlic and anchovies in skillet over medium-low heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until garlic is lightly golden.
Add tomatoes and juices to skillet, with some salt and pepper. Raise heat to medium-high and cook, stirring occasionally, until tomatoes break down and mixture becomes saucy, about 10 minutes. Stir in olives, capers and red pepper flakes, and continue to simmer.
Cook pasta, stirring occasionally, until it is tender but not mushy. Drain quickly and top or toss with sauce and remaining tablespoon of oil, if desired. Taste and adjust seasonings as necessary, garnish with herbs if you like, and serve.