Pork and Puttanesca

IMG_0077This is literally the whore of sauces, directly translated anyway. However, there is no evidence that it has anything to do with the euphemistically called ladies of the night. This slightly disappointed me, in my imagination Italian brothels were full of sexy ladies, but all that was on offer was a bowl of pasta and sauce. But apparently not. It seems it suddenly appeared in the 1960’s but its ingredients are quintessentially Italian- traditionally tomatoes, garlic, anchovies, capers and olives. I have a thing about anchovies, there is something slimy about them, and fishy. Little slimy slug fish. Now that I have made them sound much less appetising you will forgive me for omitting them from the recipe. I have loosely based this on Sarah Raven’s recipe to be found in the 5:2 diet book, but instead of chicken I made meatballs (which seems more Italian) and I added shallots because I like shallots. Even if they make me cry. And they do. A lot. The sauce is vegan and would make a great dinner with extra vegetables if you like, or served over pasta if that is your thing. Pasta is not my thing, so I dished mine up over courgette fried in coconut oil and it was delicious, but any other Mediterranean type veg would be lovely. In fact, it would make a great sauce for aubergines, topped with parmesan or mozzarella.


500 grams pork mine

Garlic granules

1 egg beaten

4 shallots finely chopped

4 garlic cloves minced

300 grams plum tomatoes chopped

400 grams tinned tomatoes

2 tbsp. capers

Lots of olives

As much as you like of the following:

  • dried basil
  • dried oregano
  • dried thyme
  • red wine


To make the meatballs tip the mine into a bowl- make sure you remove the paper thing from the bottom that comes in supermarket packets. Why is that there?

Sprinkle with garlic granules and pour on the egg. Get your hands in and squish together. Don’t think about squashed brains. Make about 12 meatballs. Spray a big frying pan with coconut oil (olive oil or whatever oil is in fashion) and fry the balls for a few minutes each side until browned. Remove the balls from the pan, onto a plate is probably good, and then make the sauce. I used the same pan- saves washing up right! Spray the pan again (oil) and add shallots and garlic and sauté over a low heat until translucent, stirring as you go. Add the cherry tomatoes and the tinned tomatoes, and stir about. Add the herbs and wine (if using) and mix it all together. Smell. MMMMMMMM is the noise you will make. Add salt if you like. Leave to simmer down for about ten minutes and then add the meatballs to the sauce. Keep it simmering until the meatballs are warmed through, or longer if you like a thicker sauce. Serve with the accompaniment of your choice and eat. I like to do this in my dressing gown. It’s that kind of comfort food.


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