Melissa Hemsley's Sardine Puttanesca
Melissa Hemsley's Sardine Puttanesca Recipe
2 tbsp butter or olive oil1 large onion, finely chopped4 garlic cloves, finely chopped1 ½ tsp dried oregano or mixed herbsA pinch of chilli flakes2 medium carrots, scrubbed and finely grated2 x 400g tins of chopped tomatoes3 tbsp roughly chopped mixed olives and capers1 handful fresh basil or parsley, stalks finely chopped and leaves left whole2 x 120g tins of good quality sardines in olive oilA pinch of sugar (optional)350-400g dried tagliatelleSea salt and black pepper50g Parmesan, or other hard cheese, finely grated, to serve
1. Heat the oil in a medium saucepan, then add the onion and a pinch of salt and fry ona medium heat, stirring every now and again for about 6 minutes. Add the garlic anddried herbs and chilli flakes and cook for another minute.2. Tip the grated carrots into the pan and fry for 3-4 minutes. Add the tomatoes, thenswill out the tins (to capture all of the tomato juice) with about 100ml of water andpour into the pan.3. Turn up the heat and simmer strongly for 10 minutes to reduce the liquid beforeadding the olives, capers and chopped basil or parsley stalks.4. Once the sauce has thickened and reduced, add most of the sardines to warmthrough - they will break up in the sauce as you stir them. Taste for seasoning,adding a touch of sugar if you think it needs it, though the carrots should addsweetness to the sauce.5. Meanwhile, cook the tagliatelle in a saucepan of boiling salted water. Cook accordingto the packet instruction until al dente. Drain the tagliatelle, reserving a mugful ofthe starchy cooking water. Tip the tagliatelle into the pan of sauce and stir tocombine, adding a few splashes of the reserved water if you want to loosen thesauce, then take off the heat.6. Serve up each bowl with herbs scattered over the top and let everyone helpthemselves to cheese.
If your loved ones are not sure about sardines, try adding one tin at first.