Fish and seafood are ideal candidates for pasta sauces, especially if you stock up with storecupboard basics such as bottled clams and cans of tuna and anchovies. These need only the briefest of cooking times, allowing you to get a meal on the table in minutes. Prawns are an all-time favourite with pasta and are very versatile. They can be combined with tomatoes, garlic and chilli for a robust Mediterranean sauce, or sizzled oriental-style with ginger and spices. Smoked salmon, mussels and scallops can form the basis of rich cream or tomato-based sauces that are ideal for entertaining.
spaghetti with anchovies, olives, capers & tomatoes
Ingredients serves 4
6 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp dried chilli flakes
4 anchovy fillets, chopped salt and pepper
2 garlic cloves, chopped very finely
350 g/12 oz dried spaghetti
800 g/1 lb 12 oz canned 10-12 black olives, pitted and sliced
2 tbsp capers, drained
1 tsp dried oregano
Heat the oil with the anchovies in a large frying pan over a low heat. Stir until the anchovies dissolve. Add the garlic and cook for a few seconds until just beginning to colour. Add the tomatoes, oregano and chilli flakes, then season with salt and pepper. Bring to the boil, then simmer over a medium-low heat for 30 minutes until the oil begins to separate from the tomatoes.
Cook the pasta in plenty of boiling salted water until al dente. Drain and transfer to a warm serving dish.
Add the olives and capers to the sauce. Pour over the pasta and toss well to mix. Serve immediately.