One ingredient… sweet and savoury… capers

The caper challenge. Or should I say “the caper not-challenge?”

PS. This has nothing to do with what sneaky little activities you get up to on a Friday night.

The caper is a good friend of mine, and could be your friend too (if you weren’t such a prick). You should always have some hiding in the fridge. You can easily add some of their piquant goodness to a pasta, a braise, a salsa for steak and other meats (I posted a caper salsa last week), sauces, salads, and apparently a dessert.

This challenge was given to me by my other good friend and wife, Jennee. Jennee is a bit of a sly little lady sometimes, and she had a very big I’m-effing-pretty-damn-impressed-with-myself-right-now smile creeping across her face as she sat on the couch, iPhone in hand, sending it to me. I’m sure she could’ve just used her mouth (hehe. Nope. I’m keeping well clear of that one) and verbaled it to me. But no, I think she wanted to keep it legit so I couldn’t back down. Nice work Jennee Hitler. Nice work indeed.

“Oooh you want some of this. Just let me finish my pasta baby. I’ll be literally one minute…”

For the savoury dish I could think of nothing better for capers to be the headline act of then a little festival called pasta puttanesca, or whores pasta. Derived from the Italian “puttana”, or whore. Someone I may or may not work with right now was under the impression that it was called whores pasta in reference to the fishy smell of the working girls vagina. Alas no. Although I think it is effing awesome for someone to make that correlation, this dish was given its moniker because of the ease it is made. A nice, easy meal for the working girls of old to make in between clients. Or possibly even while servicing aforementioned clients.




Olives, capers, anchovies, diced fresh tomato, a hobbits handful of each
Pasta of your choosing (I’m liking penne or contadina), cooked, a big handful
Olive oil
Optional – a handful of basil leaves, chopped chilli, whole chilli, chilli dog, chopped dog, it’s chilly outside so make sure you pop a jacket on dear…?

• Toss everything except pasta and parmo in a med-hot pan for exactly 62 seconds
• Add pasta and toss for another 28 seconds. Don’t add any salt because the olives and anchovies have got that one covered
• Plate up. Top with cheese

Easier then getting sex at a whorehouse. Even if by some awesome twist of fate you have just come across thousands of dollars and could quite literally buy as much sex as your dirty little pee-pee could handle. This recipe is still easier.

And for the sweet side of things? A caper and current praline. Am I kidding? I very well may be. Who knows? Just try it anyway. God knows I didn’t.

Your regular pannacotta recipe can go here, unless it’s shit in which case you should use someone else’s recipe or I will post one at a later date. Infused with a sprig of rosemary when you warm the milk and cream.

For the praline
2 tablespoons baby capers
1 tablespoon currants
1 cup castor sugar
A few tablespoons of water
• Line a small oven tray with baking paper. Scatter the capers and currants on the baking paper
• Combine sugar and water in a pot to make a slurry
• Simmer over a med-high heat, not stirring, for 5-ish minutes. By this time your sugar syrup should be starting to turn caramel-y sort of colour
• Now you need to keep a close eye on this, because it can go from good to bad in a very short amount of time. Once it is all golden brown, pour it over the capers and currants. It might splutter a little so don’t have your 4 year old child holding the baking dish for you because steaming hot caramel fucking hurts
• Leave it chill out and harden up on the bench for 15 minutes, and then you can crack it up and eat with your pannacotta


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