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Pappardella with rose harissa, black olives and capers

I woke up to the news this morning that Chadwick Boseman died. It is so sad he was 43 and had bowel cancer. It appears that he was diagnosed four years ago and has been living with this all this time. So between surgeries and chemotherapy continuing to act and work. I have no words. I just know that he is an example to us all. And even though coronavirus that has been around for the past few months has caused us all to rapidly re-evaluate and assess our lives, there was something about the tragedy of the situation that has caused us to do this again. I think I have felt especially sad because he was so young. He leaves behind his wife and his parents have the deep sadness of burying their child. I haven’t really stopped thinking about it all day as he was born the same year as me 1976 and he died of the same thing took my own father six years ago. It brings back all those sad and painful memories. Not sure there’s anything to be done really but to acknowledge these feelings and pray (or send positive thoughts out into the universe) for his family and friends.

It seems weird to write about food but I did made make a new recipe today so I may as well share, it was nice. One thing I learnt after my father died, was that as powerful as death was, when the time came, equally as powerful is life, the drive to live find purpose and meaning.

Have courage

Be kind

Ingredients

2 tbspolive oil
1large onion, thinly sliced (220g)
3 tbsprose harissa (or 50% more or less, depending on variety: see ‘Ottolenghi’ ingredients) (45g)
400gcherry tomatoes, halved
55gpitted Kalamata olives, torn in half
20gbaby capers
15gparsley, roughly chopped
500gdried pappardelle pasta (or another wide, flat pasta)
120gGreek-style yoghurt
salt

Method

1. Put the oil into a large sauté pan, for which you have a lid, and place on a medium high heat. Once hot, add the onion and fry for 8 minutes, stirring every once in a while, until soft and caramelised. Add the harissa, tomatoes, olives, capers and ½ teaspoon of salt and continue to fry for 3–4 minutes, stirring frequently, until the tomatoes start to break down. Add 200ml of water and stir through. Once boiling, reduce the heat to medium low, cover the pan and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove the lid of the sauce and continue to cook for 4–5 minutes, until the sauce is thick and rich. Stir in 10g of the parsley and set aside.

2. Meanwhile, fill a large pot with plenty of salted water and place on a high heat. Once boiling, add the pappardelle and cook according to the packet instructions, until al dente. Drain well.

3. Return the pasta to the pot along with the harissa sauce and ⅛ teaspoon of salt. Mix together well, then divide between four shallow bowls. Serve hot, with a spoonful of yoghurt and a final sprinkle of parsley.

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