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Monday, September 3, 2012

Pasta Puttanesca

This dish has long fascinated me....maybe it was the tantalizing title, or maybe just the simplicity of the dish itself, but it has been on my "food to-do" list for quite some time. Just hearing the name brings a vision to mind of those Italian "working girls" rushing to make this dish before their next "client" made his appearance. It is quite possible that they made this dish just to lure the poor souls to their door! The aroma wafting through the house after the anchovy paste and garlic hit the sizzling olive oil was enough to lure my husband into the kitchen!

I have tried to find the source of this recipe and I can't. I will continue to search as I want to give the creator of this amazing recipe the credit. My apologies to the author of this recipe.

1 lb spaghetti
6-7 cloves garlic, pasted with the back of a knife, or use a garlic press
1 TBSP anchovy paste
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/3 cup olive oil (I use extra-virgin olive oil)
7-10 tomatoes, chopped and partially seeded*
1 cup Kalamata olives (be sure to pit them if not already pitted)
3 TBSP capers
1/2 - 3/4 cup fresh basil, roughly chopped

Cook the spaghetti in boiling salted water until it is barely al dente. While the spaghetti noodles are cooking, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat and add the garlic, anchovy paste, red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper, stirring occasionally, until the mixture is fragrant and a light golden color (this should take 2-3 minutes).
Add tomatoes to the oil mixture, along with the olives and capers, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the pasta is done.
Drain the pasta and add to the sauce. Simmer and turn the pasta using tongs, until it is cooked al dente, about 2 minutes. Add the basil and serve!
*NOTE: You can puree the tomatoes if you wish, but I prefer them chopped.

Next time I make this dish, I will puree half of the tomatoes and see how I like it prepared in that manner.


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