When I started writing this post, I had something totally different planned, but I decided to be spontaneous and changed my mind. Right now. I don’t even know if I’ll manage to post this today. Today as in Wednesday. Sometimes I feel so rushed during the day, that this blog is the first to take the hit. Unfortunately so I always say, as C&T is where, to a certain degree, I feel myself the most. I feel glad about this, because I never wanted to lose myself in here. Let me rephrase that: I never want to present anything that is not me. The food in the photos is never wasted, always eaten by us and/or friends and family. I share, because I love to, I want to, and of course, because I cannot justify eating a whole cake by myself. Well…
So let’s take a little break from cake and let me give you this.
A little more than a year ago, a very dear friend of mine came to Malta to visit me and of course, for a whirlwind tour of this little island. Abigail is one of the most lovely people you could ever meet. Thank goodness I listened to J when he suggested my going to PhotoSoc. I made loads of new friends, including A, that day in Guildford. It was a Photo Walk, in other words one where taking photos is something that one should at least try to do. I didn’t take one. Not one blinking pic. There isn’t any written rule that you must, but I mean, what can I say? I wasn’t in the right frame of mind. Excuse the pun. I swear I didn’t do that on purpose.
A’s a quiet old soul, as in a really grounded individual, very wise for her age – a 20-something young lady going on, what? 45? She’s very fun loving though and her smile brightens a room. And more. So on one of the warmest Mays ever, and on the hottest day, we went to Birgu to take plenty of photos and for the beautiful views of course. When we had enough of walking we decided that it was time for lunch. I think we both had pasta. I ordered something that wasn’t on the menu. I don’t do it often but that day I wanted to eat a proper meal without feeling too full. It was sweltering hot so it just wasn’t the time for a shepherd’s pie. The chef made me a simple meal, simple but delicious, which I tried to recreate here. This with a cold glass of a fruity white wine is ace.
The quantities here are eyeballed; I mean do you really need the exact numbers here. It’s liberating to cook like this once in a while, non? Remove whatever you don’t like, I know some don’t like capers and that’s all right, but for my sake, please keep the rest. This is a nifty little recipe which I love having in my repertoire. I hope you will too. Here’s the Mediterranean people. Abigail, this is for you.
- 250g dried spaghettini
- 1 – 2 tablespoons regular olive oil
- 1 large clove garlic, crushed or finely chopped
- ¼ teaspoon dried chilli flakes
- olives, pitted or not – your preference, whole
- capers (optional)
- 4 – 6 sun-dried tomatoes, chopped into strips
- around half a tin artichoke hearts in olive oil, drained and roughly chopped
- 1 fresh tomato, chopped
- drizzle of extra virgin olive oil
Boil a pot of water and cook the pasta per cooking instructions. I like mine al dente. If you’re using spaghettini try not to overcook them – they’ll go all soggy on you.
Place a shallow pan (big enough to hold the pasta later on) over a medium-low heat. When the pan is hot enough, pour in the olive oil and add the garlic and chilli. Give the garlic and chilli some time to flavour the oil, a few seconds will do, and quickly add the olives, capers, sun-dried tomatoes and artichoke hearts.
Drain the pasta and quickly tip it in the pan. Add the fresh chopped tomato and give everything a good mix.
Serve in individual bowl and drizzle a little EVOO over each serving. Season with salt and pepper if you like, but I would go easy on that. The ingredients in this recipe have plenty of flavour.
Tip: Instead of green olives I usually like to use Kalamata olives. They are beefy and deeper in taste. Here I used the green variety because that’s what I had to hand. They work well anyway.