pasta puttanesca

Dave’s been traveling occasionally for work, and every time we say goodbye, I get all, “nooooo, don’t leave me!” and then he’s gone, and I’m like, hey, now I can eat anchovies. Woohoo!

My standard dinner routine for when I’m on my own is pasta puttanesca on weeknights and pissaladiere on the weekend. Both combine Dave’s two least favorite ingredients, olives and anchovies. He doesn’t like such strong flavors – olives with their brine and anchovies with their salt. But if you combine the two, they battle for dominance and neither overpowers the other.

The first time I made puttanesca, I was a little overwhelmed. Looking back, I think I had made an understandable error – I added salt. The anchovies provide all the salt you need for this dish. Then that’s enhanced by bitter parsley and spicy pepper flakes, and everything comes together in a wonderful clash of flavor in your mouth.

One year ago: Asian-Style Chicken Noodle Soup
Two years ago: Pasta with Broccoli, Sausage and Roasted Red Peppers

Printer Friendly Recipe
Pasta Puttanesca (from Cooks Illustrated)

Serves four

I use 12 ounces of pasta instead of 16 ounces; also, I don’t prefer spaghetti with chunky sauces like this.  To increase the protein, sometimes I add 2 cans of solid tuna, drained.

4 medium cloves garlic, minced to a paste or pressed through a press
Salt
1 pound spaghetti
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon hot red pepper flakes
4 teaspoons minced anchovies (about eight fillets)
1 (28 ounce) can diced tomatoes, drained, ½ cup juice reserved
3 tablespoons capers, rinsed
½ cup kalamata olives, pitted and chopped coarse
¼ cup minced fresh parsley leaves

1. Bring 4 quarts of water to a rolling boil in a large pot. Meanwhile, mix the garlic with 1 tablespoon water in a small bowl; set aside. When the water is boiling, add 1 tablespoon salt and the pasta; stir to separate the noodles. Immediately heat the oil, garlic mixture, hot red pepper flakes, and anchovies in a large skillet over medium heat. Cook, stirring frequently, until the garlic is fragrant but not browned, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes and simmer until slightly thickened, about 8 minutes.

2. Cook the pasta until al dente. Drain, then return the pasta to the pot. Add ¼ cup of the reserved tomato juice and toss to combine.

3. Stir the capers, olives, and parsley into the sauce. Pour the sauce over the pasta and toss to combine, adding more tomato juice to moisten if necessary. Adjust the seasonings with salt to taste and serve immediately.

Comments

  1. Rene says:

    Oooo….that looks amazing! I’m going to have to make this for dinner soon! Spirals are my favorite kind of pasta :).

  2. Alicia says:

    This looks delicious. And I totally know the feeling with regard to the significant other……
    He wasn’t home for dinner last night -so I roasted a ton of brussels sprouts. He hates them, but I love them.

  3. Ammie says:

    YUM! This is my favorite Italian dish, but I’ve never made it at home. Will have to try it.

  4. sounds really unique :)

  5. This sounds delightful! I’m glad I’m not the only one that actually likes anchovies. My hubby and I went to a restaurant in Washington D.C. and I actually ordered a pasta dish with anchovies!

  6. Rachel says:

    This sounds so good! I will be trying it very soon :)

    I’m just starting a blog and was wondering if you had any advice. I would really appreciate your opinions!

    Thank you!

  7. Inna says:

    Yum! I LOVE Italian food, so this sounds great! And I’m completely the same way when my husband goes out of town!

  8. This is one of my favorites.

Speak Your Mind

*