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Tad Seaborn/The Globe and Mail

Having a small garden, I don't grow enough tomatoes to ever aspire to canning or freezing. In a stellar week I accumulate enough to make a meal for two and recently planned to make a basic tomato sauce with capers (thinking to add some savoury notes). Then I noticed I had some olives (your basic green pimento stuffed) and a jar of tender anchovies. I had a tangy, salty puttanesca sauce simmering in no time. Not bad for raiding a sadly empty fridge. As for finding fresh tomatoes – in a pinch canned will work just fine.

Servings: 2-3 over pasta

Last-minute puttanesca

6 medium tomatoes, blanched and peeled

2 tablespoons olive oil

4 cloves garlic, minced

1/4 cup olives, chopped

2 tablespoons capers, chopped

2 anchovy fillets, chopped

Method

Roughly chop 700g (about 6 medium) blanched and peeled tomatoes. No need to remove seeds or be too fussy – just cut out the tough core when you come across it, reserve as much juice as possible. Set aside.

In a medium pan heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium-high. Add 4 cloves minced garlic and saute till fragrant. Add the tomatoes.

Cook for 7-10 minutes or until the tomatoes have begun to break down and then add 1/4 cup chopped olives (any kind), 2 tablespoons chopped capers and 2 chopped anchovy fillets.

Cook another 10 minutes until flavours have melded and the tomatoes are slightly reduced to a thickened sauce-like quality. Serve over pasta, fish or chicken breast.

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About the Author

Sue Riedl worked for 12 years in the Toronto film industry where her culinary passion was ignited while consuming countless unhealthy snacks off the craft service table. More

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