Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Pasta Puttanesca

Serves 4
Recipe from Martha Stewart
Husband-Tested in Alice’s Kitchen

Pasta Puttanesca (poo-tah-NESS-kah) is one of our favorite dishes and it’s so easy to make.  (I think it tastes great hot or cold, so it makes a yummy lunchbox addition too.)  Don’t let the anchovies turn you away from making this flavorful dish.  Many people don’t realize that Caesar Salad tastes so wonderful because of anchovies.  Anchovies “melt” into the sauce of this pasta.  I always have capers and anchovies in my pantry (or fridge after they are opened) to add flavor to dishes.  Serve Pasta Puttenesca with a crisp salad and robust wine.

Coarse salt
1 pound spaghetti or linguine (I use whole-wheat pasta.)
3 Tablespoons olive oil
6 medium cloves garlic, minced
½ teaspoon crushed red-pepper flakes
10 anchovies, crushed (I use a 1.5 oz. jar of anchovies packed in olive oil, drained.)
1 (28-ounce) Italian plum tomatoes, seeded, chopped, and strained, reserving juice (You can use regular canned tomatoes as a substitute.)
3 Tablespoons capers, drained
½ cup Kalamata olives, (3 ounces), pitted and coarsely chopped
2 Tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. As the water comes to a boil, prep the ingredients (except the pasta) chopping, mincing, etc. and set aside.  When the water comes to a boil, add salt and pasta, and cook until pasta is al dente, about 12-15 minutes depending on package instructions. Drain.
While pasta is cooking, heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add garlic, red-pepper flakes, and anchovies. Cook, stirring, until aromatic, 1 to 2 minutes. Add tomatoes, reserved juice, capers, and olives. Bring to a boil. Lower heat to a simmer, and cook, stirring frequently, until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes.
Stir pasta into sauce. Cook, stirring, until sauce clings to pasta, about 1 minute. Stir in parsley. Serve immediately.

**Tip:  I find that olives and capers can be difficult to get out of the jar without making a mess.  So, I open the jar and dump the entire contents into a glass measuring cup that has a spout. I can easily scoop out what I need for recipes and then I can pour what I don’t use back into the original jar.

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