Yes, I know many think it’s gross, but my love of black pudding is a cherished hangover from my days when I lived in Newport, South Wales. Back then, I loved nothing more than a visit to my local greasy-spoon cafe, just off the Cardiff Road. This place was the Real McCoy: the accents were thick, the tea was brutal, the vinyl tablecloths slick with grease and the fry-ups were a full-on, no-holds barred affair – even the bread was fried! It may have been a coronary hazard, but was pure greased bliss. Even now the mere thought of fried eggs with baked beans, black pudding and fried bread is enough to make my mouth water and my arteries contract.
Thankfully these days I’m slightly more circumspect about my breakfast choices, but now and again I find myself craving a bit of black pudding. More recently however, I have been trying to find new ways of incorporating this maligned British delicacy into my cooking. As a result, it has found its way into various risottos, been served elegantly with smoked haddock and even added to salads; all delicious, but by far my favourite effort has been Black Pud’tanesca! Akin to a punchy traditional Puttanesca, this robust pasta sauce is not for the fainthearted. A gutsy dish, big on flavour, it had me hooked with my very first bite; each successive mouthful was followed by an “oh my God, that’s amazing!”, culminating in a flurry of unashamed plate-licking, a second helping and more “oh my God”s!
Seriously good, easy to make and impossible to forget, this humble pasta sauce will forever change the way you see black pudding. Be brave and prepare to be amazed; if you’ll forgive the pun, this recipe is bloody delicious!
Black Pud’tanesca: Serves 4
- 300g Black Pudding
- 2 tbsp. olive oil
- 2 tins chopped tomatoes
- 1 small onion, peeled and finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
- 1/2 tsp. crushed chilli flakes
- 1 tbsp. sugar
- 1 tbsp. red wine vinegar
- Chopped flat-leaf Italian parsley
- Freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- 400g spaghetti
- Add 1 tbsp. olive oil to a saucepan and heat over a medium heat
- Add the diced onions and sauté until translucent but not brown, about five minutes.
- Dice 200g of the black pudding, reserving the remaining 100g for later
- Add the black pudding to the onions and sauté for a further couple of minutes
- Add the chilli and garlic and sauté for a minute or so. Add the tomatoes, sugar and vinegar
- Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer, cook uncovered for between 30 to 40 minutes
- In lightly salted water, cook your spaghetti according to packet’s instructions, to al dente
- Check the sauce for seasoning, adjust accordingly
- In another sauté pan, add the other tbsp. oil olive
- Roughly chop the remaining black pudding and add to the pan, sauté until crisp
- Drain the pasta and add the sauce, mix thoroughly
- Sprinkle the crispy black pudding, the parsley and parmesan
- Serve immediately