PASTA WITH PANCETTA, OLIVES, ARTICHOKES AND CAPERS
This is a flavourful and quick pasta recipe great for a week-night diner, or anytime, really. It uses ingredients that are most likely already in your pantry or fridge. In the summer, I use fresh tomatoes, but when they are not available, canned ones work beautifully, also. I'll call it "pasta for all seasons" - because it's that good!
HERE IS WHAT YOU NEED:
1 package pasta (450 g), any tube shaped
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup pancetta, cubed (you can use bacon if pancetta not available)
3 large garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
3 cups fresh tomatoes, roughly chopped (or 3 cups canned whole tomatoes, crushed)
1/2 cup kalamata olives, pitted and roughly chopped
1/4 cup capers, drained
1/2 cup marinated artichokes, quartered, drained
4 anchovy fillets
1/2 teaspoon hot pepper flakes (or to taste)
3/4 cup white wine
freshly grated parmigiano
fresh basil (or parsley)
2 tablespoons toasted pine nuts (if using)
1/2 cup reserved pasta water (just in case)
Heat olive oil in a large pan over medium heat and add pancetta. Let it get brown and crispy, stirring often so it doesn't get burned. Drain all but about 3 tablespoons of oil (that will depend on how fatty your pancetta is), add garlic, anchovies and hot pepper flakes, then stir until fragrant and anchovies melt, about one to two minutes.
Add tomatoes, olives, capers and artichokes, stir until heated through, then add the wine and let simmer for a few minutes. Adjust the seasoning if necessary (I did't use any extra salt because most of the ingredients are salty).
Meanwhile, cook pasta in a large pot of boiling, salted water until al dente (firm to the bite).
When pasta is done, drain (reserving 1/2 cup of pasta water), pour into the sauce and toss until well combined. Add a touch of pasta water if you think is necessary to loosen the sauce, I didn't have to. There should be enough sauce to coat the pasta, but not swimming in it.
Serve straight away topped with freshly grated parmigiano, a good sprinkling of basil or parsley and toasted pine nuts.