by Lisa

I’ll admit: I’ve been winging it a lot lately when it comes to dinner.  There hasn’t been a lot of planning and I haven’t been very motivated to invest a whole lot of energy finding & trying new things, or doing anything time consuming for dinner.  With my book coming out a little sooner than I expected, I’ve spending as much time as possible promoting it. And so last night, once again, I had no clue what to cook for dinner at 4:15 pm–which gave me 30 minutes before soccer pick up and then a short bit of time after soccer while the kids showered, or did homework, etc.   I resorted to scouting my pantry and freezer, which is what I often do, searching for clues or that single ingredient around which I can make a meal. I found it last night in the pantry: a small jar of salt packed capers, which I had picked up on a whim on Superbowl Sunday at our terrific Italian deli. I remembered an old recipe that involved very little cooking and in 15 minutes had the quick sauce prepped and the table set.  This sauce, in which the onion cooks directly in the tomatoes (not unlike Marcella Hazan’s simple tomato sauce, which recipe I can’t seem to find right now to link too…) is sweet and briny at the same time. It’s a simple but rich tasting sauce.

If you have these ingredients + tomatoes, you can have dinner

Spaghetti with Capers, Red Onion, Tomatoes

  • 1 lb pasta
  • scant 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 anchovy
  • 1 medium red onion, sliced thin
  • a few tablespoons salt packed capers, rinsed (or brined)
  • 1-32 ounce can tomatoes
  1. Set large pot of water to boil
  2. In olive oil, quickly sautee anchovy over high heat until dissolved
  3. Add onions and sautee for 2 minutes, until they just begin to soften.
  4. Add tomatoes and capers, cover and let simmer for about 20-25 minutes, until onions are soft.
  5. Cook pasta according to package directions, then drain and return to sauce. Mix well and serve immediately.