Spaghetti Niçoise Recipe

Don't you just love worldwide cuisine? I do, French food included.  I've not been there, nor do I speak a word of the language.  This is justified by my pronunciation of Niçoise. Trying to act like I knew it all, I had always pronounced it nee-coys. I've been told that there is only one legitimate way of pronouncing it, related to being a native of Nice which is nees-waz phonetically, which made sense really.

It may only be a salad but it is far from just that with its pungent array of flavours that tick a few of the boxes - sweet with the tomatoes, yet bitter, with the black olives, salty with the tuna and anchovies, sharp with the dressing.  Is that a good enough description?

French salad, Italian spaghetti and Spanish white wine.  It doesn't get more multinational than this. "À vontre santé", as they'd say in Nice, "cin cin" in Rome and "¡salud!" here in Spain.  Ah, the phonetical alphabet again.  Don't worry now - eat and enjoy!

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 10-15 minutes (for the spaghetti)
Serves: 4

350g spaghetti
8 quail eggs
1 lemon
550g tinned tuna in oil
60g black olives
2 tomatoes, diced
4 anchovies, chopped
3 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped

1.  Cook spaghetti in plenty of salted boiling water as directed by package instructions until el dente.
Strain well and return to pan to keep warm.

2. Meanwhile, place the quail eggs in a saucepan of cold water. Bring to boil and cook for 4 minutes.
Drain, cool and remove shells. Slice each egg in half and set it aside.

3. Grate lemon to give 1 teaspoon of zest.  Squeeze lemon to give 2 tablespoons of juice.

4. Empty tuna and its oil into a large bowl. Add olives, diced tomatoes, anchovies, lemon zest and juice.

5. Divide spaghetti between 4 plates and spoon tuna mixture on top.  Divide the egg halves between each plate and sprinkle with fresh parsley.