Pasta Puttanesca with a Cabano take

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A tough week can mean that one homemade, hearty pasta is the winning ticket to feeling better. Especially after Black Friday. I cringe thinking about my current spending – but, ’tis the season! 

It’s been a busy few weeks in Cape Town with tourists rolling in, which meant that endless queries and recommendations have been slowly filtering through. And I’m more than happy to plug some amazing places that knock your socks off for exceptional value for money. I do however, believe that making something special at home is also a necessity for the spirit when one spends all day at home. So, I’ve made some puttanesca pasta with a slight Cabano flair – which is simply looking in the fridge and scrounging scraps into a delicious meal. 

When I discovered that anchovies melt into any fat and that the fresher the tomatoes the more the flavour, I quickly encouraged this into our recipe. Your ingredients will be quite easy to assemble, as the basics of any good puttanesca are olives, anchovies, tomatoes, herbs, and capers. What we added, is the following:

2 whole fresh tomatoes
1 whole onion, diced finely
4 garlic cloves
6-8 little anchovies
4-6 caper berries, preserved
2 sprigs each of fresh thyme and rosemary
a handful of fresh coriander (keep an extra closeby for finishing garnish!)
1 whole pack of good quality salami (we used Checkers deli meats for this, delicious fattiness!)
1 lime (the juice here is perfect, sweet acidity)
2 tbspn of homemade terrine, but you can use good unsalted butter
2 tbspn garam masala
2 tbspn homemade vegetable stock (a very nifty trick which I’ll post soon!)


1 Take a heavy pan and place onto a medium heat hob. Melt your terrine in the heavy pan and add your anchovies. Separate and mix until dissolved into the terrine.
2 Sauté your garlic, herbs, and capers in a the pan. Allow for these ingredients to get to know each other. 
3 Bring a large pot of salted water to a rolling boil. When boiling at the state where the water is churning, put in your pasta (I used spaghetti, but fettuccine or linguine is ideal here). Cook to slightly before al dente, as we’ll continue cooking in the sauce. Reserve a cup of pasta water.
4 Dice your onions very finely and add to the pan of herbs and garlic. Allow to get translucent before adding garam masala and vegetable stock. 
5 Roughly chop your tomatoes and let simmer in the pan. 
6 Chop your salami. Once the sauce has quite thickened, add to the mixture. 
7 Your pasta will be done at this point, so add your sauce to the drained pot as well as the cup of pasta water. Add a dash of extra virgin olive oil, and a few cracks of black pepper. 

We enjoyed this with a glass of red wine, but it pairs beautifully with a crisp champagne if you’re looking for a lighter drink alternative. Enjoy this pasta, and let me know if you make it by tagging me in your post! 

Follow my Instagram and Facebook pages at @EatDrinkCapeTown to stay tuned with my little recipe adventures. 


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Sabah Cabano
Sabah Cabano
Daughter of Sonia, obviously. Lover of food, traveling, and all things ending with "Let's never do this again.' I like to believe that I'm funny. Copywriter and a graduate in Creative Brand Communications. Based in Cape Town in the heart of the City Bowl, surprisingly not yet vegan. En ek praat Afrikaans.