11 February 2012

Spaghetti alla Chitarra with Tomatoes, Olives & Capers

Pure white powder is covering everything again outside. It's so still, clean and peaceful.  It's 11 o'clock in the evening and the kids, my husband and I are all watching the snow fall excitedly. Finally. The kids had been waiting for the ground to turn white all afternoon but the snowflakes had been melting as soon as they fell on the ground.  There was no white carpet to play on this afternoon.  

When I wish for more snow, I feel so guilty.  All over the country, snow had been falling ceaselessly that it had and still is causing serious problems.  Fresh food is not as available as it should be.  I was in a big supermarket the other day to stock up on supplies for this coming weekend, when I looked at amazement at the rows of half-empty and completely empty baskets of fruits and vegetables. Whatever was left was not so fresh-looking anymore but I didn't have a choice, just like the other shoppers. We all grabbed what we needed. And I hurriedly hoarded different kinds of tomatoes. I cannot run out of them.  My kitchen feels empty without a single one of them around.

Tomatoes are staple in my kitchen and I always make sure that I have them in the fridge. But there are times when I run out of them while in the middle of cooking like what happened to me the other day.  I know, why didn't I check ahead before cooking?  I already chided myself and believe me, I promised myself that it won't happen again. It's a good thing there are neighbors we can all count on.  Bless all the nice neighbors!

Now I have three punnets of different kinds of tomatoes and I dedicated some datterini tomatoes for this pasta. Backed up by the best of the Mediterranean flavors of black olives, capers, anchovies and extra virgin olive oil, here is a pasta that you can do over and over again.  Purely delicious!

Our two words today are:

Capers = capperi

Olives = olive.
Buon fine settimana!  Have a good weekend!

Spaghetti alla Chitarra with Tomatoes, Olives & Capers

Serves 4
  • 350 - 400 grams spaghetti alla chitarra
  • 400 grams datterini, grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 75 grams black olives, pitted and chopped
  • 10 grams capers
  • 4 fillets of anchovies
  • 1 garlic, crushed
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • salt & pepper
  1. Rinse the capers under the faucet then soak them for a few minutes in the water.  Drain then crush them lightly with the back of a fork.  Set aside.
  2. Boil some water in a big pot for the pasta. 
  3. Meantime, sautè the garlic in a saucepan with extra virgin olive oil.  When golden, discard the garlic then add the anchovies.
  4. When the anchovies melt, add the tomatoes, olives and capers.  Cook for about 10 minutes.  
  5. If the sauce dries out, ladle some hot water from the pot you are boiling for the pasta.
  6. Season with pepper.  Add salt if still needed. If the sauce cooks ahead of the pasta, turn off the fire and cover to keep it warm.
  7. When the water for the pasta boils, add some salt.  Add the pasta and cook following the cooking time in the box.   
  8. Transfer the cooked pasta and mix with the sauce.  Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil.  Serve hot.


  1. Yummers! Next time I make pasta I am going to make it as pretty as yours!

  2. very pretty on the purple plate! love the name of this blog :)

  3. Looks yummy but why do you discard the garlic?

    1. It's the same question I asked everyone here when I started cooking. I don't know any Italian who doesn't discard the garlic during or after cooking. The reason is that after taking in the golden color, the flavor of the garlic transferred to the food is already enough. Leaving it will be too much or it might burn which is not good. Before serving, it's better to take it away as a courtesy so that the garlic will not end up being eaten. It happened to me once and the dinner host was so apologetic about it. Thanks!


Thank you for taking the time to read my blog. I would love to know what you think!