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Posts Tagged ‘Capers’

Sicilian tuna pasta

We loved this easy pasta dish that we cooked when camping underneath Château de Beynac, right beside the banks of the Dordogne, with hot air balloons floating by. Such happy memories.

Wine Suggestion: We don’t see wines from the Dordogne often in Ireland and found ourselves a bit at sea until we found the Vinotheque de Beynac run by Enrique; young, enthusiastic, knowledgeable and who had curated a nice, boutique selection of wines. His suggestion of the Chateau Montdoyen Un Point c’est Tout! Bergerac Rosé was a great match. If you’re near Beynac et Cazenac in the Dordogne, he’s well worth seeking out for local wine inspiration.

Sicilian Tuna Pasta – serves 4

  • 300g dried pasta shells
  • 4 heaped tsp baby capers
  • 500g ripe cherry tomatoes (mixed colours if available), halved
  • 1 tbsp dried oregano
  • 1 x 220g jar of tuna in olive oil

Cook the pasta in a large pan of salty boiling water according to the time suggested on the packet. Meanwhile, put a large non-stick frying pan on a medium-high heat with 1 tbsp of olive oil. Add the capers, fry until very crispy, then scoop out with a slotted spoon and set aside. Add the tomatoes, then sprinkle in most of the oregano. Drain and flake in the tuna, add 2 ladles of the pasta cooking water, and simmer until the pasta is cooked.

Drain the pasta, reserving a little more of the cooking water, then toss the pasta into the tuna pan. Mix together and loosen with a splash of the pasta water if needed. Taste and season, then serve scattered with the crispy capers and the rest of the oregano and a drizzle of olive oil.

(Original recipe from Jamie Oliver’s “5 Ingredients”, Michael Joseph, 2017.)

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Crispy new potato bake

This is a bit different and perfect when you’ve got over the initial excitement of new potatoes and feel like doing something other than steaming them and covering them with butter. Jersey Royals are nice if you can find them. We served these with some salmon and herby mayonnaise.

Crispy new potatoes with olives, capers & herbs – serves 4

  • 1kg Jersey Royal potatoes or other small new potatoes
  • handful small capers
  • 2 handfuls stoned black olives
  • 1 tbsp thyme leaves
  • small bunch rosemary, broken into sprigs
  • 6 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp white wine vinegar

Heat oven to 240C/Fan 220C/Gas 9.

Boil the potatoes until almost cooked – about 12 minutes. Drain, then slice and put into a large bowl. Tip in the capers, olives and herbs, then add most of the olive oil and season. Gently mix together, lightly crushing the potatoes as you go.

Line a medium Swiss roll tin with baking parchment, leaving some overhanging. Tip the potatoes into the tray and spread to flatten. Mix the vinegar with the rest of the oil and drizzle over. Bake for 40 minutes or until crisp and golden.

(Original recipe from BBC Good Food)

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Linguine with Creamy Tomato, Rosemary & Caper Sauce

Super simple weeknight pasta that tastes delicious.

Wine suggestion: A youthful Sangiovese from Tuscany is our pick with the wine at hand the Rocca delle Macie Vernaiolo which we find a great unoaked and fresh red wine. We like to put it in the fridge for 30 minutes before opening at this time of the year.

Linguine with creamy tomato, rosemary & caper sauce – serves 2

  • 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • a pinch of chilli flakes
  • 2 tsp chopped rosemary
  • 1 tin of plum tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp capers
  • 3 tbsp double cream
  • 150g linguine
  • Parmesan, grated, to serve

Heat 1 tbsp of olive oil in a saucepan. Add the garlic and cook for a couple of minutes, then add the chilli & rosemary and cook for another minute. Add the tin of tomatoes.

Simmer the sauce for 20 minutes, squashing the tomatoes with a wooden spoon occasionally so they break down into a thick sauce. Add the capers and cream and simmer for another 3-4 minutes.

Meanwhile, cook the linguine according to the pack, then drain well. Tip the pasta into the sauce and toss together. Serve in warm bowls with some Parmesan for sprinkling over.

(Original recipe by Janine Ratcliffe IN: BBC Olive Magazine, May 2015.)

 

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Salmon Tartare

A perfect starter for the festive season. Get the freshest and best salmon you can as it will make all the difference; ours was meltingly tender while cutting it up and we were rewarded with a melt in the mouth starter.

Wine suggestion: Try an appropriately festive and indulgent Vintage Champagne like the Billecart-Salmon Blanc de Blanc which has a richness and depth alongside a minerally freshness and great purity of fruit. Alternately if on a budget, but another classic match, would be a zippy and herbaceous Sauvignon Blanc or for a bit of a lemony twist a Verdejo from Rueda in Spain.

Smoky salmon tartare with lemon and capers – serves 6

  • 1 shallot, finely diced
  • 2 lemons, 1 juiced and 1 cut into wedges
  • 400g skinless salmon fillet
  • 200g smoked salmon
  • 2 tbsp chopped dill
  • 2 tbsp small capers
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp crème fraîche
  • olive oil
  • melba toast, to serve

Put the shallot into the lemon juice and leave to soak.

Cut the salmon into tiny cubes and finely chop the smoked salmon. Put all of the fish into a bowl, add the dill, capers, mustard, crème fraîche, 1 tbsp olive oil and the shallot and juice. Fold together gently and season with salt and black pepper.

Serve in rounds with the melba toast and a drizzle of olive oil.

(Original recipe from BBC Olive Magazine, December 2014)

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Obica: Linguine with Yellowfin Tuna

A simple but delicious dish from a cool restaurant called Obicà that we found on our last trip to Florence. They insist that it’s best made with fresh tuna (and they’re probably right) but we made it with top quality tinned tuna and it worked for us.

Wine Suggestion: Classic Italian matches for tuna depend on the region. If you are in Sicily a great match is their native Grillo grape, a textural, slightly salty and mineral wine with good body but not weighty. For this dish though we drank a Vermentino, made by Morisfarms, from the Tuscan coast. It has a great vinous texture and savoury character which combined with fresh fruit and minerality matches this Tuscan combination of tuna, tomatoes and olives.

Linguine with Yellowfish Tuna – serves 4-6

  • 2 tins top quality plum tomatoes (the Italian brands are good)
  • 500g yellowfin tuna
  • 4 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, plus a bit extra
  • 2 sprigs rosemary
  • a pinch of chilli flakes
  • 80ml white wine
  • 30g salted capers, soaked and drained
  • 100g pitted black olives (Gaeta or Kalamata)
  • 500g linguine
  • chopped fresh parsley to serve

Drain the tinned tomatoes and cut into strips.

Cut the tuna into 2cm cubes. Heat the oil in a pan and sauté with 1 sprig of rosemary and the chilli flakes.

Add the wine and simmer until it evaporates, then add the capers.

Add the olives and tomatoes and cook over a high heat for 15 minutes.

Cook the linguine until al dente, then drain and add to the pan of tuna sauce. Toss gently.

Sprinkle on the parsley, drizzle with some more olive oil, and garnish with the remaining rosemary.

(Original recipe from Obicà: Mozzerella Bar, Pizza e Cucina, Rizzoli, 2014.)

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It’s amazing what you can throw together when rummaging through the cupboard. We always make huge batches of tomato sauce and freeze it as you can use it in so many things. We made pizza on Tuesday which didn’t quite use the whole tub and this is how we used up the leftover sauce. We recommend buying good quality pasta – we like Martelli which comes in cute yellow paper bags but most importantly has a great texture – you will notice the difference.

To make this dish we sliced up a red chilli and sautéed it in a glug of olive oil. We then added our leftover tomato sauce and some tuna chunks from a jar of tuna fillets in olive oil – much nicer than tinned and we always avoid brine! Heat this gently while you cook your spaghetti. Throw some rinsed capers in at the end and toss the sauce and spaghetti together. Yum!

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