Spaghetti Cork-ese! Say it aloud in a terrible Italian accent. It sounds good, doesn’t it?
All jokes aside, a few years ago I was in my kitchen looking at a stash of black pudding that I had brought back from Ireland and thinking about how well the deep earthy flavour of the black pudding goes with fresh zingy tomatoes and I thought – OOOOOF – ding ding ding – that would be an ace pasta sauce.
Italians avert your eyes but everyone else keep reading, for this is delicious.
So, it is simple and takes less time than a proper bolognese, but you are rewarded with a rich depth of flavour that takes hours ordinarily. The richness of the black pudding adds instant ooomph, the chilli a little zing, and when you roast the sauce as I do here, it crumbles and each little chunk bathes in a tiny bath of tomato with a piquant tiny vinegar hit with a little sugar to tone it down a bit. When they caress the spaghetti it is a dreamy match.
Black pudding is something some people are afraid of. I was raised on it and love it, it is only blood folks, nothing to worry about. Full of iron and embracing of nose to tail eating, which is not only delicious but is a responsible way of eating.
Black pudding varies from country to country, I use the Irish one here. Two grace my kitchen counter. Rich deep artisanal black pudding from McCarthy’s of Kanturk when I can get my mucky paws on it. My local butcher and Budgen’s sell the lovely Clonakility Black Pudding which I used here. Made with beef blood instead of pigs blood it is also something that folks averse to pig for reasons of religion can eat. I, personally, do like a bit of pig.
So, here it is. Try it, even if you are afraid of it. I promise you will enjoy.
TIP: Leftover sauce makes a terrific toastie and is brilliant with eggs for breakfast.
Recipe: Spaghetti Corkese
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Serves: 4 generously
280g Irish Black Pudding
2 x 400g tins good tomatoes
2 banana shallots, peeled and finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
1 mild red chilli, de seeded finely chopped
1 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
handful of chopped flat leaf parsley
1 x 500g box best spaghetti – I highly recommend Pastificio dei Campi
Preheat your oven to 180 deg C.
Start your sauce by sautéeing the shallot in a little light oil over a medium heat until transulcent but not brown, about five minutes.
Add the black pudding and sauté for a further couple of minutes.
Add the chilli and garlic for a minute or so, before adding the tomatoes sugar and vinegar.
Transfer to a roasting dish and roast for 45 minutes.
In the last ten minutes or so cook your spaghetti according to packet instructions, and to al dente.
Remove the sauce from the oven, season, and add the pasta to your sauce and mix thoroughly.
Sprinkle the parsley on top and serve immediately.