A recipe for disaster – By @PugheScarlet

By Scarlet Pughe


A recipe for disaster 




5 tablespoons olive oil, divided

1 2-ounce tin oil-packed anchovies, chopped and 20 days out of date.

6 garlic cloves, 5 sliced, 1 whole

½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

¼ teaspoon smoked paprika

1 28-ounce can whole peeled tomatoes

1 bunch small Tuscan kale, ribs and stems removed

Kosher salt

1 large slice stale sourdough or country-style bread, crusts removed, torn into 1-inch pieces

¼ cup finely chopped parsley

12 ounces linguine or other long strand pasta

1 6.7-ounce jar oil-packed tuna, drained




Heat 4 Tbsp. oil in a large skillet or pot over medium. Cook anchovies and sliced garlic, stirring occasionally, until anchovies are mostly dissolved and garlic is soft (do not let it brown), 6–8 minutes. Add red pepper flakes and paprika and cook, stirring, just until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add tomatoes, crushing with your hands as you go. Break up with a wooden spoon until no large pieces remain; bring to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until reduced to a very thick sauce, 20–25 minutes. Add a splash of water to loosen; reduce heat to low and keep warm.

Meanwhile, blanch kale in a large pot of boiling salted water just until bright green, about 10 seconds. Transfer with a slotted spoon or tongs to a bowl of ice water; let cool. Drain and squeeze kale with your hands to remove excess water; coarsely chop. Reserve pot with kale cooking liquid for cooking pasta.

Pulse bread in a food processor until fine crumbs form. Toss breadcrumbs with remaining 1 Tbsp. oil in a medium skillet. Season with salt and gently toast over medium heat, tossing often, until golden brown and crunchy, 6–8 minutes. Finely grate remaining garlic clove over crumbs and stir to coat. Transfer to a small bowl and mix in parsley.

Bring kale cooking liquid to a boil and cook pasta, stirring occasionally, until al dente. Using tongs, transfer to skillet with sauce and add kale and tuna. Toss to combine, adding water a few tablespoonfuls at a time to loosen as needed, until pasta is well coated. Serve pasta topped with breadcrumbs.


One of my favourite things to do when I get in from a long day at SCA is unwind and cook myself and sometimes my best mate Jessie a nice hearty meal. One of my favourites is my tuna and anchovy pasta, really quick, simple and usually delicious. 

After getting back late I decided this is what I fancied. I was very tired and when I looked at the jar of anchovies that had been opened two week prior, I didn’t question that maybe they might be off. 

Fast forward a few hours and I’ve never felt so ill. I’d given myself food poisoning. Great. Exactly what I needed. 

This experience didn’t just teach me that I really should check the dates on food but also that SCA is the right place for me. When I felt like I was dying with my head in the toilet, I still couldn’t stop my brain thinking about the Adnams brief that’s we had been set that week. I think I might be obsessed. 


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