APPARENTLY, Cardinal Bergoglio liked to cook his own food.
Whether Pope Francis has enjoyed this particular dish is unknown,
but Pasta alla puttanesca is a suitably piscine,
Petrine, and piquant offering for a chilly Lent. It is easily
assembled from store-cupboard ingredients, and this serves four
50g tin anchovy fillets in oil
2-3 dried chillies
2 garlic cloves
400g tin chopped tomatoes
1 tablespoon capers
2 tablespoon pitted black olives (chop down a
little if whole)
400g (14 oz) dried pasta (any will do - rigatoni
and penne work well)
In a large frying pan or wok, heat two tablespoons of olive oil;
open the anchovies, and pour the oil into the pan also; roughly
chop the fish into fingernail-size pieces, and add; crumble in the
chillies; bash the garlic cloves with the heel of your hand, peel
off the skin, roughly chop, and lightly fry together.
Pour in the tin of tomatoes with the capers and olives; mix
together well, and cook over a low heat for about ten minutes.
Bring a pan of salted water to the boil, and cook the pasta until
soft to the bite. Using a slotted spoon, gradually add the pasta to
the sauce with a little of the cooking water, and mix together;
serve with black pepper and grated parmesan cheese.
PALMS were used to denote the triumph of the spirit over the
flesh, and were often carved on the tombs of martyrs. As Palm
Sunday approaches, here is a Sticky Toffee Pudding
recipe using the palm tree's famous fruit: dates. Baking everything
together, with the boiling water for the sauce, is Nigella Lawson's
take, and works very well. If you prefer one sort of sugar, then go
3 teaspoons instant coffee or Camp
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tsp mixed spice
75g (3 oz) butter
200g (8 oz) dates, stoned and chopped
175g (7 oz) self-raising flour
100g (4 oz) dark brown muscovado sugar
200g (8 oz) light muscovado sugar
500ml (1 pt) boiling water
Set the oven at 190°/Gas 5 and grease a large 2-litre (3½pt)
baking dish; if the dates are dried, then soak them in tea. Beat
together the egg, coffee, vanilla, and 50g of the butter (melted).
Pour this over the flour, dark sugar, and spice in a large bowl,
and whisk together. Mix in the dates and scrape the whole lot into
your buttered dish.
Sprinkle the lighter sugar on top, dot with the remaining
butter, and pour on the boiling water. Bake on a tray in the oven
for 45 minutes or so until the top is springy. Underneath will be a
golden sauce. Serve with single cream.