Sunday, April 10, 2011

No Heat Required

Let's make one thing clear here: I'm a pasta addict. Sure, it's cheap and easy, thereby making it the kind of food off of which we graduate students base our existence. What's more, a good sauce provides the longest-lasting leftovers. I can think back to several periods in my collegiate life when all I had time to eat was Norma's Peanut Sauce. But I find that the real beauty of the food is that it acts as a base for just about anything. It offers a firm grounding for any inspired madman to create a sauce ridiculous and amazing. And as a result, I eat it all the time.

So when Moxie mentioned she wanted to make her mum's recipe for her favourite uncooked sauce, I was game to try it. I have witnessed others try to half-ass an uncooked sauce -- mainly by tossing on some oil, cheese, and calling it done -- and this is most definitely not that. This sauce relies on a collection of strong, distinct flavours: anchovies, olives, garlic, capers, etc. The blended result is amazing: potent, but not overwhelming, and easily diluted/focused by the addition/removal of more noodles. The taste lingers in your mouth without ever becoming abrasive, just leaving you craving more. Of all the sauces that I've experimented with, this is currently the most memorable. And what's more: it's really pretty! Not bad for a meal that takes no more than a few minutes of chopping & mincing to prepare.

Pasta with Uncooked Sauce
  • 4 large tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • 14 large black olives //Kalamata recommended
  • 3 Tbsp capers, minced
  • 4 anchovy fillets, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 3 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 tsp fresh ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese //or more, to taste

Mix all of the ingredients in a large bowl. Cook angel hair pasta until done. Drain and toss with uncooked sauce. Serve immediately. Sprinkle additional Parmesan cheese over pasta to taste.

This amount of sauce is good for approximately ½ lb of pasta

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