Friday, January 7, 2011

Spaghetti alla Puttanesca

(note: this post was written on monday and the shock of being back to work + commute + bringing back my evening ballet class routine knocked me out of commission and I have only now finished typing up the recipe)

Although I'm home alone tonight, I wanted a sort of "last hurrah" before vacation (finally!) ends and I go back to work tomorrow. Pastas are always pretty easy to cut down to a couple of portions, so I got dinner and about one more meal's worth of leftovers. (Any more than that, and I get pretty sick of whatever it is I'm eating over and over.)

Fun fact time: this lovely little dish translates from Italian to mean "whore's pasta".

Regardless, it's an awesome salty, acidic, flavorful meal, and not really that hard to make. Don't be scared of the anchovies - they just melt into the sauce and add flavor without it being fishy.

Puttanesca Sauce for 2
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 yellow onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped finely
  • 4 anchovy filets, coarsely chopped
  • 1 can (14 oz) whole tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • about 7 each kalamata and black olives
  • 1 tablespoon capers, drained
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper (or to taste)
  • black pepper
  • 1/2 pound spaghetti (I used whole wheat)
  1. Heat the oil over medium heat; add onions. Cook until they begin to get golden.
  2. Add garlic and anchovies. Saute for about 5 minutes.
  3. Pull apart the canned tomatoes into chunks and add to the pan along with their juice. Stir in the tomato paste until combined.
  4. Start the pasta (or you may have already done that, that's fine too)
  5. If you got fancy olives with pits (like I did), you will want to get those out now and roughly chop the olives up. 
  6. fancy! but annoying to de-pit
  7. Add the olives, capers, crushed red pepper, basil, and pepper to taste. Stir!

  8. Simmer over medium-low heat for about 10 minutes or until the pasta is ready. When the pasta is al dente, drain and add to the sauce.

  9. Stir for a minute or two to combine and to let the pasta absorb some of the sauce.
  10. Serve on its own or with some crusty bread.

Also: In an IM convo today, I told Tim I'd like to teach him to cook more this year (I taught him to scramble eggs tonight over the phone... that should give you an idea of where his skill level is). I said that it might be fun to teach him. His response: "I think it would. Please teach me dear!" Warms my heart!!! <3

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