If you’re unfamiliar with arroz al horno, get familiar with it. It’s a traditional Spanish dish which originated in the community of Valencia, similar to the paella, and it is good. God damn.
There is something so incredibly satisfying about sinking a fork into a mound of saucy pasta, twisting it to coil thick strands of spaghetti into a messy mouthful. When I have an itch for spaghetti, it’s not the taste that I am after per se, but the ritual of eating it.
This recipe was born after my boyfriend and I decided we wanted “some sort of saucy tomato pasta” for dinner. I thought about using meat, but I felt that it might interfere with the sauciness.
There are a lot of flavours in this recipe, but they work well together. There is a bite of heat to it provided by the fresh red chilli, along with a hint of white wine, and a good amount of fresh, pungent herbs. Every now and then you get a juicy burst of salt, courtesy of the capers. I only recently discovered capers, and my life has changed for the better. Now, the anchovies. If you’re happy to use them, disregard this, but if you’re a hater, consider this: when used in small amounts, anchovies provide depth and base to the flavour without overriding the dish with fishiness. Take a risk and give them a go, I promise the final product won’t taste fishy (if it did my boyfriend would have refused to eat it, and he ended up lying on the floor digesting).