Sunday, August 9, 2015

Pasta Puttanesca***

*** I'll probably never be serving this one at the farm - at least, until I get Carlene's feelings about anchovies and capers on the table!  Some people love 'em and some people hate 'em.  But since real Caesar salads (anchovies) and chicken piccata and schnitzel (capers) are in regular rotation over here, those are two items that are always in my pantry.  This is a dish I learned from the Silver Palate cookbook that was so popular back in the 80s.  I fell in love with this dish as it is SO easy and so fast.  Plus it made tons of leftovers that were good cold as well as re-heated - perfect for a busy school teacher taking classes and holding down another job, to boot!  

Pasta Puttanesca


1 lb. spaghetti, linguine, or other thin dried pasta
2 cans (2 lbs. 3 oz each) peeled Italian plum tomatoes or crushed tomatoes, drained
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tsp oregano
1/8 tsp dried red pepper flakes, or to taste
1/2 cup tiny black Nicoise olives or plain California black olives if that's all you can find
1/4 cup drained capers
4 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
8 anchovy fillets, drained, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup chopped Italian parsley, plus additional for garnish
2 tsp salt

Bring 4 quarts of salted water to boil in a large pot. Stir in the spaghetti. Cook until al dente.

While the spaghetti is cooking, drain the tomatoes, cut them crosswise into halves, and squeeze out as much liquid as possible.

Combine tomatoes and olive oil in a skillet and bring to a boil. Keep the sauce at a full boil and add remaining ingredients except pasta, one at a time, stirring frequently.

Reduce the heat slightly and continue to cook for a few minutes, or until the sauce has thickened to your liking. Serve immediately over hot pasta and garnish with additional chopped parsley.

By the time the pasta is cooked, your sauce is bubbling away. Drain the pasta immediately when done and transfer to 4 heated plates and top with the sauce.  You can add a little Parmesan cheese if you'd like.

A piece of garlic bread and a bottle of daVinci Chianti and I am SUCH a happy camper!!

The "puttanesca"?  "In the style of the putta" - a lady of the evening.  The dish, according to the cookbook authors, got its name because it was 'cheap and easy'!  

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