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Tagliarini With Puttanesca Sauce

Pomi was a brand that appeared in the Sopranos, my all-time favourite TV show, so I was very happy to cook with Pomi tomatoes to make this sauce.

Serves 4

For the dough:

  • 300g/10½oz 00 flour
  • 3 medium eggs

For the puttanesca sauce:

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 cloves of garlic, fine chopped
  • 1 red chilli, de-seeded and finely chopped
  • 3 anchovies (from a jar of anchovies in oil), chopped
  • 85g/3oz black olives, halved
  • 3 tsp capers
  • 1 carton (390g/13.8oz) Pomi crushed tomatoes with basil
  • Balsamic vinegar, to taste
  • Basil leaves, to finish
  • Parmesan or burrata, to serve

First make your pasta dough. Place the flour on a clean worktop or pastry board and shape it into a mound. Make a well in the centre and crack the eggs into it.

Using a fork, break the eggs yolks and start to whisk them, drawing in the flour a little at the time. Continue to combine together with the fork, then when everything starts to come together, start to knead the dough. Use the heel of your hand and push away from you, using your other hand to turn the dough 90 degrees after each knead – you will soon develop a lovely rhythm. Continue to knead for 8–10 minutes until the dough is nice and smooth.

Now form the dough into a flat disc, as this will make it much easier to roll out later. Wrap it tightly in clingfilm and rest in the fridge for at least 30 minutes, or ideally overnight. Resting it makes the structure of the dough smoother and more pliable, so it’s much easier to roll out and shape.

To make the sauce, gently warm the olive oil in a large saucepan and fry the garlic and chilli for a couple of minutes. Add 3 anchovies, cook for a couple more minutes until they dissolve to form a rich base. Next, add the black olives, the capers and the Pomi crushed tomatoes with basil. Stir everything together and simmer gently for 10 minutes, then add 1 teaspoon of balsamic vinegar, or to taste.

Keep the sauce warm on a very low heat while you cook your tagliarini. When cooked al dente, set aside a cupful of the pasta cooking water before draining and adding the tagliarini to the sauce. Toss together and add more ripped fresh basil if you like, and a splash of the pasta water to loosen the sauce.

Serve straightaway with either half a creamy burrata or a generous amount of Parmigiano.

Buon appetito!