I daren't look at the back of my cupboards. I have no idea what might be lurking there. Once in a while I will build up the courage to get the step stool out, clamber up and peer into the deepest darkest corners of the cupboards. I usually find something like mincemeat or condensed milk or something else bought with the best of intentions (like the tube of chestnut paste recently purchased in Paris), this time I found...Sardines. I remember purchasing them for lunch a month or so ago and then changing my mind and having an egg or something else instead. So there the lonely tin of Portuguese BONELESS Sardines have sat...waiting.
Thank goodness Dom from Belleau Kitchen challenged his readers to randomly select an ingredient from the cupboard for this month's Random Recipe. Who knows how long the poor tin would have sat there, unloved, unopened, unused.
I didn't use a cookbook recipe this month. I used a trusty old quick school night supper standby instead, so forgive me Dom.
I like to think of this as my version of Pasta Puttanesca...the whole dish takes the time it takes to boil the water and cook the spaghetti. The recipe (for 2) goes a little something like this:
Rush in the door and before you have taken off your coat put a large pan of water onto boil. Take off coat (hang up coat) and get down to business. While the water is boiling heat a generous glug of oil in your largest sautee pan and add to that 1/2 red onion finely chopped, 1 clove garlic pressed, and a sprinkle of chilli flakes. Once the onion is soft toss in 200g cherry tomatoes, quartered and softly cook until the tomatoes break up. By now the water should be boiled. Salt the water and add enough spaghetti for 2 greedy people. Add a couple of Tbsp of the pasta water to the tomato sauce when it looks like it is getting a bit dry. When the pasta is almost cooked add 1 Tbsp (minimum) capers, rinsed if too salty and the sardines (minus the oil) from one tin. Use a spatula to break the sardines up a bit. Before draining the pasta I reserve about 1/3 of a cup of the pasta water. Drain the pasta, add it into the sautee pan with the sauce and toss to coat. Add a little bit of the cooking water if you feel it is needed. I'd normally toss in a handful of chopped parsley or basil and lots of black pepper.
Pile high in bowls and devour.