Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Pasta Puttanesca

 Pasta Puttanesca is one of my dad's specialties. Puttanesca is a deliciously aggressive sauce- briny and rich with a nice spicy kick. If you don't know the semi-risque story behind the origin and name of puttanesca, you can read it here. Besides being very tasty, it is very easy to make: you can put the sauce together in the time it takes to cook your pasta. With the exception of fresh parsley or basil, all of the ingredients in past puttanesca are pantry items, so this is a perfect meal to pull together at the last minute or when groceries are running low!

Pasta Puttanesca

Makes 6 servings

1 pound spaghetti or other long pasta
5 tablespoons olive oil
5 cloves of garlic, minced
2 tablespoons anchovies, minced
1/2 teaspoon red paper flakes
1 28-oz can crushed tomatoes (preferably San Marzano brand)
1/2 cup Kalamata olives, pitted and chopped
2 tablespoons capers, drained and chopped
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley or basil

1. Cook the spaghetti in boiling water until al dente.
2. While pasta is cooking, heat the olive oil in a large, deep skillet over medium-high. Add the red pepper flakes and cook 30 seconds. Add the garlic and anchovies and sautee until garlic is fragrant and golden brown, about 3-4 minutes.
3. Add the tomatoes, olives, and capers to the pan. Stir together and bring to quick boil, then lower heat and simmer sauce until your pasta is cooked, about 10 minutes.
4. Remove the spaghetti from the water with a slotted pasta spoon, letting water drain off back into pot, and place directly into the pan with the sauce. Stir together and cook another 2-3 minutes. Stir in the parsley or basil. Serve.

You can top this with freshly grated Parmesan, but that wouldn't be traditionally added.


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