Spaghetti with tomato sauce olives and capers
The Briny Ingredient That Livens Up Bland Spaghetti
Store-bought tomato sauce offers convenience but often lacks excitement. Adding capers can elevate its taste, infusing a deep briny flavor and upgrading even the simplest dishes.
Cooking capers in a sauce produces a mellow brine while throwing them in at the end adds a zesty acidity. Use them whole to add bursts of flavor or chopped for a more even texture.
Capers are preserved immature flower buds from the caper bush. Sizes range from the prized tiny nonpareils to large grusas, with the largest capers generally being the most acidic.
Capers sold in the U.S. are usually brined in vinegar, which adds a sharp tang. Italian varieties are salt-preserved, resulting in a more concentrated flavor and meatier texture.
Brined capers should be drained before use, while salt-preserved varieties require thorough rinsing. Taste the capers before adding them to a sauce to gauge their impact on flavor.