Sunday, May 18, 2014

Fried Capers!

Fried capers are the best. Unfortunately you can't just eat them by the handful, because you'll get a headache from all that salt. (Don't ask how I know.) Here's a pasta recipe I love to put under them:

Pasta with Fried Capers

8 oz pasta
1 4-oz jar large capers
olive oil for frying
1/2 t red pepper flakes
7 large or 10 small cloves garlic, sliced very thin
1/3 c good black olives (like Kalamata), halved
10-oz bag frozen spinach or a bag or bunch of fresh (chopped if leaves are big)
lemon juice

Get the pasta cooking. (When it's done, reserve 1/4 c cooking water.)

Meanwhile, drain the capers very well, reserving the vinegar from the jar. Put about 1/2" oil in a deep skillet, and heat until a caper dropped in starts sizzling right away. Put all the capers in. Be careful because they'll pop and spatter. Let them fry until the buds open and become crisp. Fish them all out with a fork and drain on a paper towel.

Reserve 1/3 cup of the frying oil, let it cool a bit, and use it to cook the garlic and red pepper flakes for a couple of minutes, until the garlic starts to brown. Add the olives, spinach and 1/4 c of water, and 1 or 2 T of the vinegar from the capers, bring to a boil, cover and steam 7 min or so until spinach is cooked, if it started out frozen--or just a couple minutes till it's wilted, if it was fresh. Serve with a little squeeze of lemon juice and the fried capers sprinkled on top.

Maurice Denis, Easter Morning or Easter Mystery, 1891

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