I created this dish many years ago when I was an in-house chef for a wonderful Jewish accounting firm in London. This slow roasted tomato sauce is one of the most tempting options for non-meat eaters I developed, with intense, delicious flavour from the garlic, capers, anchovies and olives. It freezes well and like many dishes, tastes even better the next day.
Makes 5 cups pasta sauce
80 ml (⅓ cup) extra virgin olive oil
2 kg (4 lb 8 oz) very ripe tomatoes, cut into 1 cm
(1/2 inch) slices
2 red onions, sliced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
50 g (1/4 cup) salted baby capers,
well rinsed and drained
8 anchovy fillets, each cut into 3
120 g (¾ cup) pitted kalamata olives
freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon tomato paste (concentrated purée)
500 g (1 lb 2 oz) spaghetti
40 g (1/2 cup) grated parmesan cheese
1/2 bunch flat-leaf (Italian) parsley, chopped
1/4 bunch basil, leaves shredded
40 g (1/2 cup) toasted pine nuts
1 handful flat-leaf (Italian) parsley, chopped
extra parmesan cheese
1 Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F/Gas 6).
2 Use two large roasting dishes (non-stick if possible) to layer the ingredients. Start with a splash of the olive oil, then divide the tomato, onion, garlic, capers and anchovies between each dish, add another splash of oil and scatter on the olives and pepper. Finish with another splash of olive oil.
3 Place the dishes in the oven, then turn the temperature down to 170°C (325°F/Gas 3). roast for about 11/2-2 hours, or until soft and a little caramelised, but not so that all of the liquid has evaporated. turn the mixture every 20 minutes or so to avoid burning. When cooked, combine the contents of both dishes, taste for seasoning and add the tomato paste. add salt sparingly, as the capers, anchovies and olives will all provide saltiness.
4 Cook the spaghetti in plenty of salted boiling water, drain, reserving 1/4 cup of the pasta water. in a large bowl, mix the cooked pasta with the roasted tomato sauce and parmesan, adding some of the extra cooking liquid if necessary. Mix in the parsley, basil and a dash of extra virgin olive oil. transfer to a large
5 Scatter the pine nuts and parsley on top and serve hot or at room temperature with extra parmesan cheese.
Recipe: Antonia Haralambis
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