Tomato Based Pasta
Anthea Bull, known on Instagram as @anosmicfoodie, says:
“my go-to tomato-based pasta sauce would definitely be puttanesca. Full of umami and spice! I’m not sure my version is very authentic but it goes something like this (and it comes together in about 15 mins including time for the pasta water to come to the boil!)”
Ingredients (per person) – get everything to hand before you start.
Small fistful spaghetti
1 clove of garlic, finely sliced (smoked garlic is great if you can get it)
1 sun-dried tomato in oil, roughly chopped
1 teaspoon of small capers in brine, roughly chopped
4 or 5 black olives, roughly chopped
1 anchovy fillet in oil, roughly chopped (optional)
Pinch of chilli flakes (smoked if you can get them – also sold as chipotle/ancho chilli flakes)
1 tablespoon tomato puree
1 tablespoon umami paste (e.g. Umami No.5 – you can leave it out or substitute miso paste)
2 tablespoon nutritional yeast flakes
Salt and pepper
Grated parmesan (or vegan option) to serve
- Bring a big pan of salted water to boil and put spaghetti on to cook (check the packet for cooking time – but roughly 11 mins)
- In a small frying pan, heat a splash of olive oil and gently sauté the garlic for a couple of minutes without letting it colour (smoked garlic is great if you can get it)
- Add the anchovy fillet (if using), sun-dried tomatoes, capers and black olives and sauté for a few more minutes
- Add a pinch of chilli flakes then season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.
- Add the tomato puree
- Continue to cook on a low heat until the spaghetti is ready then drain the spaghetti, reserving some of the cooking water
- Put the drained spaghetti back in the pan and add the tomato mix together with the yeast flakes and some of the pasta cooking water to make a sauce that coats the spaghetti
- Check the seasoning and add more salt and pepper (and/or chilli flakes) to taste
- Serve topped with the grated Parmesan
“The smoked garlic, chipotle chilli flakes, nutritional yeast and Parmesan all add extra umami depth to the dish which I find really satisfying.
By the way, I avoided nutritional yeast for years because I had memories of it smelling like goldfish food (from when I could smell) but wouldn’t want pasta without it now! I forgot to add it one day recently and really noticed the difference in the depth of taste.
The anchovy and umami paste are both optional if you have them at home, and you can also throw in some halved cherry tomatoes if you want to add some little pops of acidity.
The other thing I use tomatoes for is for cooking French lentils – I got this from an Anna Jones recipe and I can’t cook lentils any other way now! You cook them in veg stock with a whole tomato, a couple of whole garlic cloves and some thyme – and they taste amazing, especially after you’ve added some good olive oil and red wine vinegar.”
The recipe is from “A Modern Way to Eat” by Anna Jones, seen on The Urban Nest blog by clicking here
“The roasted beets with red wine vinegar and the salsa verde really make the dish (oodles of acidity with the earthy beets and lentils!) but to be honest sometimes I just do the lentils to go with any oven-roasted veg and/or something like smoked tofu”
Anthea is well worth following on Instagram where she shares recipes, favourite meals and fabulous food market finds.