While the capability to make pizza wasn't the sole consideration behind the kitchen renovation, the model of oven Madam selected after extensive research was highly rated in the pizza department. As a result, early on in the piece round slabs of dough with a tomato, mozzarella and topping started passing through the oven on a fairly regular basis.
We haven't progressed too far beyond the tomato base with anchovies and fresh basil under the cheese stage yet, but after an initial exploration of the ready made pizza base we're now at the total do it yourself stage with one notable exception. While my basic tomato sauce would do the job rather well we tend to keep a jar of passata in the pantry so we're ready for pizza action at the slightest provocation.
Unfortunately jars of passata tend to be rather large and a pizza requires a t couple of spoonfuls, which means even if you line up for pizza on successive nights (one serve of dough makes two pizzas, and a single pizza does the two of us) you're going to have most of the jar left over. At the moment we tend to split the dough into serve one today and freeze one for later portions, so we've also got a fair chunk of the 80g jar of anchovies left, which, in turn means that we need to use them asap as well.
Fortunately in these circumstances there's an old favourite from the Ursel Norman Pasta! Pasta! A Collection of Pasta Recipes that has formed the basis of Hughesy's attraction to pasta over the past thirty-five years. I've made this so often that I don't need to consult the book other than checking the correct spelling of the name. Madam tends to shy away, so it's a single serve on a hungry night or a two night split if we're only mildly famished.
Pasta Al Sugo Di Pomodoro E Accuigne
around half an 80g jar of anchovies
a little non-anchovy olive oil
some of the oil the anchovies were packed in
one or two garlic cloves, crushed and chopped
parsley or similar herbal flavour enhancer to taste
400g tin of diced tomatoes plus a healthy helping from the jar of passata that went on last night's pizza.
around 150g pasta of choice per person depending on size of appetite (150 does me, mileage may vary)
METHOD: Heat the oil in a small saucepan, add the garlic and simmer briefly without browning. Add anchovies and herbs, cook long enough to heat through then add the tomato content, bring to a boil, turn down the heat and simmer long enough to thicken. How much you thicken the sauce depends on the pasta. Anything hollow gets a slightly more liquid sauce, otherwise you want something thick enough to coat the pasta loosely.
Cook the pasta till al dente, drain, mix into the sauce and you're ready to roll. I happen to like the sauce enough to wolf down the whole lot in one sitting, but otherwise you could halve the sauce before adding the pasta.