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Sunday, September 25, 2011

Pasta Puttanesca

Menu choices on working days have to be pretty simple. And since yesterday was a full studio day in my pottery, last night I made pasta Puttanesca. This delicious savory dish was known as whores pasta because the ladies of the evening could cook up a tasy, quick dish that didn't take too much time away from their business. Here's the recipe I use. The one exception was that I used our own cherry tomatoes which are very abundant right now.

Pasta Puttanesca
  • 1 pound dried spaghetti, spaghettini, or linguine fini
  • 5 garlic cloves, forced through a garlic press
  • 2 teaspoons anchovy paste
  • 1/2 teaspoon hot red-pepper flakes
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 (28-ounce) can whole plum tomatoes in juice (preferably San Marzanos)that you've pureed in a blender or food processor
  • 1/2 cup pitted Kalamata olives
  • 2 tablespoons drained and rinsed capers
  • Pinch of sugar (optional)
  • 3/4 cup coarsely chopped basil
Have all your ingredients measured and ready to use.
Cook spaghetti in a pasta in salted, rapidly boiling water until barely al dente (about 7-8 minutes).
While pasta is cooking s, cook garlic, anchovy paste, red-pepper flakes, 1 tsp salt, and 1/2 tsp pepper in oil in a preheated 12-inch heavy skillet over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until fragrant and pale golden, about a minute.
Add tomato purée to garlic oil along with olives and capers and simmer, stirring occasionally, until pasta is ready. Add a tiny bit of sugar if needed or desired.
Drain pasta and add to sauce. Simmer, turning pasta with tongs, until pasta is al dente, about 2 minutes. Sprinkle with the chopped basil.

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