Gosh well there’s a flash name for ‘Chilli, Basil and Almond Sauce’ but if you can’t wave a bit of italian around the kitchen every now and again what can you do? This recipe is from my beloved Cupboard Love book, and Tom Norrington-Davies thinks Picci Pacci might mean something like ‘this and that’.
The recipe does indeed involve putting a bit of everything in, I saw that it had almonds in and was sold. I was hoping that it would be a quick after work pasta fest like the fishy pasta (https://newrecipenight.wordpress.com/2013/11/25/week-9-linguine-with-sardines-anchovies-and-parsley/) or the tomato-ey pasta (https://newrecipenight.wordpress.com/2014/06/06/week-35-spaghetti-and-tinned-plum-tomatoes/) but it wasn’t as such. The actual cooking is instant, but it needs time to steep for a couple of hours.
For two people you will need: 200g spaghetti/linguine, 50g blanched almonds, 400g tin peeled tomatoes, extra virgin olive oil, 2 cloves of garlic, 2 tablespoons of chopped basil (or parsley, I used parsley), 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar or balsamic vinegar (I used balsamic) half teaspoon salt, pinch of sugar, half a teaspoon dried crushed chilli flakes.
To start drain the tinned tomatoes into a sieve or strainer and squeeze out all the juice, just like on the tomato-ey pasta. Put the pulp into a bowl with 3 tablespoons olive oil, the finely chopped garlic, the basil/parsley, vinegar, salt, sugar, and chilli flakes; stir it all together and leave to steep for an hour or two.
Heat the oven to a medium heat and toast the almonds for 10 minutes. Allow to cool and then chop them up (50 grams looks a lot for two people, but I found I ate loads of them before they got anywhere near the table.
Cook the pasta as recommended on the packet (use good quality pasta) then drain it, return it to the pan and stir the sauce in straight away. Plate up and sprinkle the almonds over them.
While this has a total cooking time of about 20-25 minutes the steeping makes it a bit of an effort for a work night. I’m not sure how the sauce would cope steeping a whole day outside the fridge, and away in the fridge would make it too cold to stir into the pasta with being heated. But it is so delicious I would definitely make it on the weekend, and should you. YUM!
Cupboard Love by Tom Norrington-Davies (Hodder & Stoughton 2005 ISBN 0 340 83525 5)