Anchovy and black olive linguine.
A fussy eater, I am not. I never have been and it is very rare I tolerate one too. However, while I understand that my palette is stronger than the average persons, I also believe that certain meals are just not cut out for people with a weak disposition. This is one of them.
If you consider yourself a fussy eater, I’m sorry – this post is NOT for you.
I was feeling particularly vulgar when I came up with recipe. I hadn’t had a great day and something cheesy and fluffy was just not going to cut it. I decided I wanted to create a meal that would look and taste the way that I felt. I wanted to find the darkest, deepest and densest flavours I had in my cupboard and find a way to make them as tasty as possible.
Anchovies as salty as my attitude, olives as black as my soul, chillies are fiery as my mindset and capers as sturdy as I needed to be. These were screaming from my fridge and just asking to jump in a pan. So I concurred and allowed my filthy gut to do the cooking. Sorry guys but this is big boys food for brave boys bellies.
I began by boiling some linguine on the back burner with some beef stock crumbled into the pasta water. As I have explained in previous posts I like to add my pasta cooking water to my pasta sauces because the starch helps everything cling together.
I then continued by dropping a small amount of walnut oil into a deep pan. I then drained a whole can of anchovies and cut up the slippery brown contents on a chopping board before scraping them into the pan. The anchovies then proceeded to ‘melt’ down into a clumpy goops of brown ooze. The natural salts here provide the perfect flavour enhancer to the meal so there is no need to add salt during the cooking process.
I then de-seeded a red chilli and cut it finely, scattering the blood beetle red into the melted anchovies. I then threw in some chunky cut black olives and began swirling around in the pan. Olives do not really fry – they barely even roast – so don’t expect too much of a change with the olives. It’s more about heating and coating the olives than it is about cooking.
I then scattered in some capers. I know people who freak out with capers because they just cannot comprehend what they are, with many people believing they are some form of sea food. Allow me to explain – capers are Mediterranean flowers capsules with a super sharp taste. You will not need many at all.
After I felt the mixture had heated up evenly and everything was no coated in a spicy and salty coating, I opened up a can of sloppy chopped tomatoes and emptied it’s gutsy contents in the pan, stirring so that the mixture mingles and is visible through the red chunks. After a slight bubble, I added a twist of black pepper as well as a handful of garden peas.
Once the linguine had boiled I drained it, but not before ladelling a small amount of the beefy pasta water to the meal and stirring. Once the pasta had drained with a little bit of water still clinging to it’s slippery surface, I dropped the pasta into the sauce and used a spoon to make sure the mixture was clinging needily to the waif strands of linguine.
It is such an unapologetic meal. The kind of meal when you just don’t even care about it being pretty, you just don’t care about delicate, sweet flavours – you just want something fiery in your belly to calm you down.
It really is a filthy meal for a filthy mood.