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Saturday, February 15, 2014

Slut's Spaghetti ( aka Spaghetti alla puttenesca aka whore's pasta )

Slut's spaghetti. Now that's not a new term coined by celebrity chef Nigella Lawson. Not that anybody is complaining. Anything for revenge, especially if the person concerned is the current flame of your-ex. And I love her perfect timing, with Valentine's day just around the corner. (Kudos to the paparazzi for picking up a scent as would befit a Police sniffer. The lady in question being none other than Trinny from the 'What not to wear India' on TLC, who I think has definitely got her basics wrong when it comes to Indian dressing.)

The recipe has been around for quite sometime ( since the 60's if I am not wrong ) and one can find quite a versions in cyberspace. One such story goes that the recipe is attributed to the Italian whores who with their uber busy lifestyles did never get around to the markets to buy some fresh produce. Instead they relied heavily on the canned stuff like anchovies, tomatoes, capers and olives. Hence the tangy and predominantly salty flavors.

Quite an effortless dish, it is no connoisseur's delight. Best served for brunch with your gang of girls or even as a lazy dinner for one.

Preparation Time - 15 mins

Ingredients - 200 gms spaghetti, 12-14 cherry tomatoes, 1 large tomato, 2 garlic flakes, 1/3 tsp chilli flakes, 1/3 tsp peppercorn, 1 tsp olive oil, 1-2 small green mango (pickled in brine), 2 tsp fish sauce, 1 tsp dried parsley.

Preparation - Chop the tomatoes into small pieces.

Similarly chop up the green mango into very small bits. (Larger bits can be quite overwhelming if one bites into them)

Cooking - Bring water to boil in a large saucepan. Add sufficient amount of salt till the water tastes very salty. Add the spaghetti and give it a stir or two in between. Cook till aldente. (Takes 13-14 mins for the Borges brand of spaghetti). Drain off the water while saving 1/3 cup for the sauce.

Start on the sauce once you drop the noodles into the boiling water. Add the olive oil to a wok. Once warm, add chilli flakes and chopped/crushed garlic. Fry for 30 seconds.

Add the chopped tomatoes and cook till they soften slightly. Add fish sauce, crushed peppercorn, chopped green mango and dried parsley. Allow the sauce to reduce a bit.

Drop in the strained spaghetti. Add a bit of the water in which it was cooked. Allow to cook for 3-4 minutes till it soaks up all the flavors. (Add some more water if you feel it to be too dry)

Serve hot.

Note - The original recipe calls for capers and pitted/Kalamata olives. But I believe in using locally sourced ingredients and I find pickled green mango (or ones preserved in brine ) to be a good substitute.


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