Can I substitute capers for anchovies in the Gemelli With Anchovies, Tomatoes and Mascarpone recipe?
Nigella's Gemelli With Anchovies, Tomatoes And Mascarpone (from AT MY TABLE) uses anchovies as they melt into the sauce to give a salty and savoury kick that cuts through the creamy mascarpone and sweetness of the tomatoes. Capers do not have the "umami" savouriness of anchovies and will not melt smoothly into the sauce, which will slightly change the texture of the dish. However there is no reason they cannot be used in the dish: they will add tang which will offset the pleasing richness of the mascarpone.
If you want to use capers then we suggest using about a tablespoon of capers, depending on how salty they are. Capers packed in brine tend to be slightly less salty than the ones packed in dry salt. And if you are using salt-packed capers, you will need to soak them in cold water for 15 minutes before using them. Add the capers to the pan once the tomatoes have had a minute or so.