Foodie Worship: Rick’s Sicilian Spaghetti
Before I share my take on this recipe with you all, let me profess my travelling foodie crush on Rick Stein. If you haven’t fallen for his food inspired odysseys then you haven’t lived! This is by no means an exaggeration. It’s pure fact.
For years my family have fallen in love with Rick’s zeal for travel and food. Each story takes you somewhere new and suddenly your travel bucket list grows with each episode. His focus on local produce, traditions and experiences have driven my own travel. I’ve been to places and sort out food experiences I’d otherwise never known about.
While watching an episode of Rick Stein’s Mediterranean Escapes, for at least the 50th time, I was drawn to the simplicity of one of the peasant style spaghetti dishes he was enjoying over lunch. Luckily for me, the episode returns to Rick’s kitchen in England where he makes his own rendition of the simple tomato, caper, garlic, mint and parsley based sauce to toss through al denté spaghetti.
Simple and fresh.
Exactly my kind of thing and PERFECT for using with the spaghetti gifted to me by San Remo Pasta recently.
Here I have created my own version of the same recipe. Double the recipe if you like more sauce. The beauty of this base sauce is that it works with everything. You can easily put your own twist on the dish, adding olives, chilli, basil, feta or pine nuts and even anchovies making it a puttanesca style sauce. This is definitely an essential recipe to add to anyone’s repertoire.
Another essential element of the recipe is that you really need to watch Rick Stein’s Mediterranean Escapes: Sardinia and Sicily (Episode 2) before, while cooking or feasting on this dish.
It takes you straight to Palermo!
You will fall in love with the travel, food and stories just like I have. I guarantee it.
To purchase Rick Stein's Mediterranean Escapes is available on DVD, by clicking HERE
To grab a copy of Rick Stein's Mediterranean Escapes recipe book, click HERE
For more information on Rick Stein's Mediterranean Escapes series click HERE to go to his website which has plenty of information about Rick, his various TV Travel series, his restaurants and food inspiration.
Recipe adapted from a Rick Stein creation.
1 packet of San Remo spaghetti
4-6 cloves garlic, peeled, crushed and roughly chopped
4-5 packets of ripe baby truss tomatoes (or 5 punnets of ripe cherry tomatoes)
Sea salt and cracked pepper
1 small jar of baby capers (more or less depending on preference)
1 cup mint, roughly chopped
1 cup flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped
You will need a pot big enough for boiling your spaghetti, and a frying pan to make the sauce.
1. While waiting for a pot of salted water to boil (for spaghetti), prepare the garlic, capers, mint and parsley. Halve the truss tomatoes, squeezing the seeds into a bowl (disguard seeds) and roughly chopping the tomatoes.
2. Once all ingredients are prepared the pasta water should also be boiling. Add the spaghetti stirring occasionally to avoid it sticking to the base of the pot. The pasta will take 7-8 minute to cook till it is al dente (to the tooth), which is perfect for making the sauce at the same time. As you add the spaghetti to the pot of boiling water place a fry pan over a medium high heat and add a good drizzle of olive oil. When heated add the garlic and toss until aromatic.
3. Add the chopped tomatoes and cook down for a minute or two.
Season the tomatoes to taste with sea salt and dressing ground black pepper.
When the tomatoes begin to break down and create a sauce, add the capers and stir together.
Next use a ladle to add a small amount of pasta water.
Toss through till absorbed and add a second small amount of pasta water to the sauce.
Toss together again until absorbed.
4. By now the pasta should be perfectly cooked. Remove it from the heat and strain.
5. Turn off the heat to the pan for the sauce. Add the mint and parsley, tossing to combine.
Top with the spaghetti and toss to combine.
6. To Serve
Fill bowls with the spaghetti and top with shaved pecorino and a small drizzle of extra olive oil.
Being a Sicilian pasta dish, why not aim to pair it with a Sicilian variety of wine. Being a tomato based pasta, yet also one that’s light and fresh this will work with either red or white wine. That way you can choose your wine to suit the weather, time of day or your taste.
Sicilian red wine varietals to keep an eye out for include Nero D’Avola, Syrah, Etna Rosso and Cerasuolo di Vittoria. The main local white wine to look out for is the Bianco D’Alcamo.
If you can’t source any of these Italian imports look out for a light red, such as a Sangiovese or a dry white like a Verdehlo to enjoy with this delish spaghetti.
This recipe was created using gifted products from San Remo Pasta. Tipple & Fodder only uses gifted or sponsored products when the quality reflects the standard of food I would usually choose to use in my recipes.
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