January 30, 2013

(From Nigellissima by Nigella Lawson)

Serves 6


500gm Fusilli Lunghi or other pasta of your choice
Salt for pasta water – to taste
250gm cherry tomatoes
6 anchovy fillets
25gm golden sultanas
2 cloves garlic, peeled
2 x 15ml tbsp capers, drained
50gm blanched almonds
60ml extra-virgin olive oil
Leaves from small bunch basil (approx 20gm) to serve


1.Put abundant water on to boil for the pasta, waiting for it to come to the boil before salting it. Add the pasta and cook according to packet instructions, though start checking it a good 2 mins before it’s meant to be ready.

2. While the pasta is cooking, make the sauce by putting all the remaining ingredients, bar the basil, into a processor and blitzing until you have a nubbly-textured sauce.

3. Just before draining the pasta, remove a cupful of pasta-cooking water and add 2 tbsp of it down the funnel of the processor, pulsing as you go.

4.Tip the drained pasta into your warmed serving bowl. Pour and scrape the sauce on top, tossing to coat (add a little more pasta-cooking water if you need it) and strew with basil leaves.

La Femme Version

I couldn’t find the Fusilli Lunghi in KL so substituted normal Fusilli as suggested.  The sauce couldn’t have been easier to make.  I made it the night before so only added the cupful of pasta water just before serving.  It makes a deliciously creamy, nutty, flavoursome dish which was received extremely well.  I served it with Roast Red Onions – to die for!

Wine Matching

The Food & Wine Club was tasting Italian and Spanish wines with this dish; wines from both countries are known for their acidity and being very food-friendly.  We really enjoyed this with the Nemorino White Blend of Trebbiano and Semillon and a Gavi di Gavi from Marks & Spencer.  Both reds, a Marques de Riscal Rioja Reserva and the Montepulciano d’Abruzzo went beautifully too.

Le Vin:

Masciarelli, (Montepuliciano), D’Abruzzo, DOC, Italy, 2010, MYR62


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