I was introduced to this idea by Sophie Hansen of Local is Lovely in her weekly newsletter. The method of cooking this pasta dish is the point of difference here. The dried pasta along with the ingredients for the sauce are all placed in the pot, boiling water is added and the whole lot cooks together resulting in tender pasta lusciously coated in a delicious tomato sauce. And there is only one pot to wash up … yay!
Now this recipe can be scaled up or down depending on how many people you are feeding. Allow about 100g pasta per person for a satisfying meal.
This recipe is inspired and based on one by Anna Jones whose most recent cookbook is The Modern Cook’s Year, copies of which will be available in-store soon.
100ml olive oil, the oil brings the sauce together so don’t skimp
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 tbsp baby capers, rinsed
2 tbsp olives
400g fettuccine nests (we like La Molisana brand available at Kitchen to Table)
400g cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered (depending on the size)
1 litre boiling water
2 tsp salt, be a little generous as this is seasoning the pasta water and overall dish
freshly ground pepper to taste
zest of 1 lemon, or 2 if you love it really lemony
100g baby spinach
basil leaves, optional
- Heat a wide shallow pan, approximately 30 cm in diameter over medium heat. Add a tablespoon of the olive oil and when warm add the garlic, capers and olives and sauté for a few minutes until the garlic is fragrant.
- Add the fettucine, cherry tomatoes, boiling water, salt, pepper, lemon zest and remaining olive oil to the pan. Increase heat to high and bring to the boil. Reduce heat slightly and continue to simmer briskly for 8-10 minutes. Stir the contents of the pan every couple of minutes to move the pasta about so that it cooks evenly. Check if the pasta is al dente, if not add a little more boiling water if necessary and continue cooking until the pasta is cooked.
- Once the pasta is cooked add the spinach and basil leaves and cook for another minute or so to wilt the spinach and thicken the sauce. Taste and adjust seasoning.
- Divide pasta between 4 bowls and finely grate over some parmesan cheese.