3 February 2012

Mamma Mia! Carbs! Glorious Carbs!

I am one of those people who, as soon as they are seized by an idea, must act on it immediately and can think of nothing else until the urge has been fulfilled. Today, halfway through my Biology lesson, I was seized by a sudden urge to eat spaghetti. Yes, spaghetti. If you're of the observant type, you may have noticed that I make very little Italian food. In the lifespan of this blog, I have only posted about four Italian-themed recipes (spaghetti bolognese, focaccia and two pizzas). Don't ask me why, I just hardly ever do. It's not that I don't like it, because I do – I just hardly ever make it myself. So the spaghetti urge came somewhat as a surprise to me. I'm used to sudden food cravings – I have them every day – but spaghetti? Really!?!

Not that it bothered me. And anyway, the weather has been freezing lately, and I needed some form of comfort food to warm up my frost nose. My issue with comfort food is that it is almost always unhealthy when I make it (more like grilled cheese sandwiches than a hearty soup), and this often leaves me with a guilty conscious. Yes, it's true. Comfort food may feed the heart and soul, but doesn't do much for the body. Spaghetti, though, is more balanced in the soul-to-body ratio department. It's still controversial. Some people I know (who shall remain unnamed), won't touch pasta because of the carbs. Nincompoops! Pure poppycock! Carbs are good. Carbs keep you warm. Carbs make you happy. Carbs are very palatable. 

What I love about spaghetti dishes is that they are so mindbogglingly simple to make. You cannot go wrong. Most of the time it will only take about 15 minutes from start to finish, unless you make spaghetti bolognese, which literally takes forever to cook. Happily for me, my favourite version, the mighty spaghetti alla puttanesca is an easy one-two-three dish, taking no more than 15 minutes in total to make, which is good. I like it. Actually, scratch that: I love spaghetti alla puttanesca! What's not to love? Tasty and warming with garlic and oregano and tomatoes? LOVE! And! Spaghetti alla puttanesca rather wonderfully translates as ''whore's style spaghetti'' in Italian, which in my opinion is high on the list of curious dish names (along with nun's farts, tiger bites pig, ants climbing a tree and a few others). 

Since spaghetti alla puttanesca only takes a quarter of an hour to prepare, it's ideal for a quick dinner after school (or work, if you're into that). All you need to do is peel some tomatoes, mash them to mush and let them simmer over medium-heat for about half an hour. You can, of course, use canned tomatoes, but I prefer making the sauce from scratch. Sauté the minced garlic in olive oil until you can smell their lovely fragrance, and add the tomatoes, olives, capers and lots of oregano and chilli and thyme and rosemary. Technically, thyme and rosemary aren't in the original recipe, but I can't help it – I need thyme, I want thyme. Rosemary works too. I omitted the anchovies, as I don't like the taste, but follow your tastebuds. Anyway, let the sauce simmer for 8-10 minutes, and flavoured it with salt and pepper. Drain the pasta, drizzle olive oil on and mix the spaghetti with the sauce. E ecco!

Serve it with focaccia or ciabatta, or any similar bread, plus a large salad. Because even though spaghetti is a balanced comfort food, you should still invest in lovely green vegetables. I'm just saying, that's all.

Buon appetito!

Spaghetti alla Puttanesca
Recipe by Epicuious

63 ml. extra-virgin olive oil

4 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
800 g. peeled tomatoes, puréed
70 g. olives, pitted and halved
3 anchovy fillets, chopped
1.5 tbsp. drained capers
1 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 tsp. dried crushed red pepper
340 g. spaghetti
2 tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
Grated Parmesan cheese

Heat oil in large pot over medium heat. Add garlic and sauté until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add tomatoes, olives, anchovies, capers, oregano, and crushed red pepper. Simmer sauce over medium-low heat until thickened, breaking up tomatoes with spoon, about 8 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

2.Meanwhile, cook pasta in large pot of boiling salted water until tender but still firm to bite. Drain pasta; return to same pot. Add sauce and parsley. Toss over low heat until sauce coats pasta, about 3 minutes. Serve with cheese.

Spaghetti alla Puttanesca
Oppskrift frå Epicuious

63 ml. olivenolje

4 store kvitlauksfedd, finhakka
800 g. tomatar, utan skal og ferdig purért
70 g. oliven, halvert og utan steinar
3 ansjosfiletar, hakka
1.5 ms. kapers
1 ts. tørka oregano
1/2 ts. tørka chillipepar
340 g. spaghetti
2 tbs. fersk persille, hakka
Parmesanost, raspa

Varm opp olja på ei panne over middels varme. Ha i kvitlauken og steik i omlag 1 minutt. Ha så i tomatar, oliven, ansjos, kapers, oregano and chillipepar. Småkok sausen over middels varme til han tjuknar. Smak til med salt og pepar.

2.Kok spaghettien i saltvatn. Spaghettien skal ikkje vera for mjuk, heller litt hard. Tøm saltvatnet or gryta, og bland saman med sausen. Server varm med raspa ost.

5 comment (s):

M said...

this looks very good and proffessional :)
but pasta is always yummmy though!

Siri said...

Så flink du er, dette er den fineste "norske" matbloggen jeg har sett på en god stund!

Marion said...

Tusen takk Siri! Eg tok turen innom fersk(n) muffins - såg veldig bra ut! Eg trur eg skal prøva kålrot-frites :)

Baltic Maid said...

Lecker!!! Das sieht richtig gut aus. Ich muss auch mal wider Pasta kochen. Deine Photos machen Appetit!!!

I eat your food said...

A dish of looking good and full of tasteful. Very on the money! Good good.

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