A bit of ol’ Jamie

My Puttanesca take on Jamie’s Pasta alla Norma (well, we all know it’s not “Jamie’s”. But the inspiration came from a picture in a magazine which was taken from a picture from his book. I wish I could say it came from an old woman I once grew to love in an Italian village. But we are suburbanites, and suburbanites act according to their environments. Everyone does. Marx said so.)


Take some aubergines and half-finger-size them then fry them in plenty hot olive oil till they look something like this:

Then remove them, add a splash of balsamic to the hot pan, then some chopped onions, tomatoes, a touch of tomato paste (some form of canned tomato or passata could substitute the last two) and a nice green paste made of rosemary, garlic, salt and green chilli which looks something like this:


Now, for the Puttanesca: add capers and olives. Oh, and a touch of water if it all looks too dry, especially with tomato paste. I naturally would have included anchovies earlier in the whole story, if I had them, but I don’t.

After some decent simmering, return the aubergines to the pan until you have something that looks like this:


Some may say this is rather “baroque”. Well, fuck them. It contains all my favourite ingredients (excepting the sorely missed the anchovies). And the rest is, as they say, obvious: cook some spaghetti, toss it all together (plus more extra virgin), add plenty of pecorino and enjoy responsibly.