Leave judgment at the door and journey with us to the back streets of 1950’s Naples. A time when men were men and pasta sauces were given particularly risqué names. As legend has it, this dish was created when a restaurant owner called Sandro Petti was closing up for the night and suddenly a group of hungry customers demanded a midnight snack. Petti dove into the kitchen, made up a quick recipe and an Italian classic was born! There are, of course, other versions of the story, but this is a family show!
/ serving 2 people
/ serving 2 people
Hard Cheese (Italian Style)(ContainsMilk, Egg)
Bring a large pot of water to the boil with ¼ tsp of salt. Roughly chop the olives. Slice the chilli in half lengthways and remove the seeds. Very finely dice the chilli (then wash your hands!).
Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a pan on medium heat. Once hot add a pinch of the red chilli (more depending how hot you like it).
After 60 seconds add the tin of tomatoes, the olives and the capers. Refill the tin a quarter with water, swirl around and add this to the sauce too. Stir in the tomato purée, ½ tsp of sugar (if you have some) and ¼ tsp of salt. Turn the heat to medium-low and leave to simmer gently.
Put your pasta in your pot of water and cook it for around 10 mins or until ‘al dente’. Tip: Pasta is ‘al dente’ when it is soft enough to eat yet has a slight firmness left in the middle. Drain the pasta once it is ready but keep back ¼ cup of pasta water.
Once the pasta is ready roughly chop the basil and add three quarters into the sauce.
Tip the drained pasta into the sauce along with your spinach and toss the pan to mix everything. If you need to loosen the sauce a little, add a dash of the reserved pasta water. Tip: You can stir the ingredients gently if you’re afraid you might paint the walls! Put a lid on the pan for 3 mins to allow the spinach to steam.
Serve with plenty of grated cheese and the remaining basil.