Saturday, September 23, 2006

spaghetti puttanesca (...and don't mention the wart)

SHUTTS is king of the freebies. He can't fail to return from a press conference or sporting event without a large free bag of goodies.
So imagine his utter disbelief when he turns up at the K Club just outside Dublin to cover the Ryder Cup, only to find out that he has to PAY for his lunch. It costs 10 euros and, not only that, but it isn't very much - just a bit of ham, some bread and a salad. The big man's distraught, he has a substantial frame to fill.
Shutts has been sharing a room with someone from a newspaper with much bigger resources than Wales on Sunday. The journo in question very generously offered him his floor to sleep on. With Shutts a mere 6ft 9ins he doubles up as a pretty effective draft excluder.
Mind you, it can't be easy for his fellow hack to sneak him past the doorman at the five-star hotel where he's staying. I imagine there have been some pretty interesting whispered conversations going on behind hands, like "Where did that national journalist find a 6ft 9ins rent boy?"

Closer to home, I get the distinct impression my colleagues are doing everything they can to get a mention on this blog. I can be talking about the weather or the football or Rosey's love life or whatever, and someone will just chime up with: "I had a very nice tea last night involving pasta and courgettes, done in a beautiful madeira sauce".
Great, but this blog won't be influenced by others. That's why I was amused by the look on the face of one of my colleagues who will remain nameless (you know who I'm talking about, Marc) when he told me of a recent trip to the doctors to find out the origins of a rather annoying spot that had appeared on his chin.
"What is it?" asked a man so proud of his hygiene that his bathroom is like a shrine to L'Oreal.
"Why, it's a wart," the doctor informed him casually. "It may be caused by applying too much product to your face."
Our man's anguish as he regaled the story to me in the pub was compounded when the truth suddenly dawned on him. "That can't go in the blog!" he stormed.
Oh, the horror.
As for Posh Lins and the Marmoset, I'm afraid we'll never know the full story...

Last night got home in time to watch the highlights of the Ryder Cup. Needed something quick and filling so out came the Sopranos cookbook (they should be paying me for the name checks).
I settled for spaghetti puttanesca which has a very unique flavour and is nice and filling.
3 crushed cloves garlic
2 tsp olive oil
A good tsp paprika
Two tins tomatoes
A good pinch of oregano
dozen or so capers
8 anchovies
8 black pitted olives (halved)
2 tbsp flat leaf parsley

To make:
Bring a pan of hot water to boil and add spaghetti.
Meanwhile, heat a wok or frying pan and add olive oil.
fry garlic and paprika over medium heat until garlic starts to turn a golden brown.
Add Tomatoes, oregano and a pinch of salt
Cook for 15-20 minutes until the sauce thickens.
Add the anchovies, capers, olives and parsley and cook for further two minutes.
Rinse pasta in boiling water and then add to the sauce, stir well then serve.

That's it, warts and all.

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