This dish was at the top of my "must cook" list from the 30 Minute Meals book, mainly because of the anchovies and olives. Sadly Colin wasn’t quite as enthused (not sharing my appreciation of anchovies), but I decided to give it a go as I had all the ingredients and it was a great success. I’ve since cooked it three more times, finally deciding to give the 30 Minute Meal version a go (minus the salad).
As with all the dishes I’ve cooked that contain anchovies (Summer Veg Lasagne, Baked Cannelloni), there is no overwhelming taste of fishiness, however, if you’d prefer to omit the anchovies simply add a few more capers (baby capers if possible).
I make this dish with wholewheat spaghetti - I’ve tried other kinds of pasta but spaghetti works the best. I had a small aubergine in my fridge so I cubed it and added it to the sauce, which ended up being a lovely addition. Otherwise this dish is made from store cupboard ingredients; very convenient if you haven’t been shopping in a while.
Jamie Oliver’s version of the puttanesca contains some fresh ingredients like parsley and lemon but I’ve cooked the dish without them and it still tastes wonderful.
- Preheat the oven to 180°C and boil the kettle. Place a large frying pan on a low heat and fill a saucepan with the boiled water and a pinch of salt.
- Slice the ciabatta bread three quarters deep, making cuts at 2cm intervals, and then finely chop the parsley. Scrunch up a large piece of greaseproof paper as you wet it under the tap, then open it up on a flat surface. Sprinkle the parsley over the top with a pinch of salt and pepper and then glug a generous drizzle of olive oil over it too. Crush 2-4 garlic cloves on top and then smear the mixture over the bread, making sure it gets inside all of the incisions. Finally, wrap the bread up in the greaseproof paper and put it into the oven to cook for around 20 minutes.
- Place a large heatproof bowl on top of the saucepan with the boiling water (making sure that the water doesn't touch the bowl). Break up the chocolate and place it in the bowl, along with the butter, cream, a pinch of salt and the grated zest of one clementine. Give everything a good stir and leave it to melt.
- Put the spaghetti into the saucepan and cook it according to the instructions on the packet. Pour the oil from the tuna into the frying pan and then crush the garlic, adding it to the frying pan along with the capers, anchovies and their oil (don't be alarmed if it looks like there is a lot of oil).
- Chop the chillis (seeds optional) and stalks from the parsley then add them to the frying pan. Chop the parsley leaves and put them to one side. Once the garlic starts to get a little colour add the tuna, breaking it up a little, then add the olives, tinned tomatoes, a pinch of cinnamon and some black pepper.
- The chocolate should have melted by now so remove it from the heat and give it a good stir. Decant the mixture into small pots or expresso cups, then halve the remaining clemetines and put them on a board along with the ganache. Take them to the dinner table then check on the bread.
- Once the pasta has cooked, drain it and reserve some of the water. Add the pasta to the frying pan, then squeeze over the juice of a lemon and add most of the parsley, mixing well. If the sauce feels very thick add some of the reserved spaghetti water to loosen it up. Pour the spaghetti into a large bowl and finish with the remaining parsley.
- Remove the bread from the oven and then take it to the table along with the spaghetti. Enjoy with a bottle of red wine.