Pasta Puttanesca

As mentioned in the previous post, this dish is named for hookers—puttana in Italian. It’s a great pasta dish, especially if you like capers (which I do). It has a bit of a kick, but you can adjust the red pepper flakes up or down, as you wish. You may also wish to decorate the finished dish with fresh basil leaves or serve it with grated cheese. Note that the ratio of sauce to pasta is more authentically Italian than most Americans expect—that is, the pasta is still visible and the sauce is more of a flavoring, not the actual meal. But don’t worry, this sauce is powerfully flavorful, and too much of it would be overwhelming. Enjoy.

Pasta Puttanesca

1/4 cup olive oil
4-6 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 lb. plum tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and chopped
1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
3 Tbs. capers, drained
1 cup pitted black olives, sliced
3/4 cup chicken broth
2-oz. can anchovy fillets, drained and chopped
2 tsp. dried basil
2 tsp. dried oregano
2 tsp. dried parsley
1 lb. spaghetti, cooked al dente

Heat the oil over medium heat in a saucepan big enough for all the ingredients. Cook the garlic for about one minute—just until it becomes fragrant, but not brown. Add the tomatoes, red pepper flakes, capers, olives, and broth. Turn heat up to medium high and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Cover, reduce heat to medium, and cook for 20 minutes. Remove the cover, stir in the anchovies, basil, oregano, and parsley, and simmer for another 25 minutes.

Toss the pasta with the hot puttanesca sauce and serve. Serves 4.

Notes: Life is short. While I do seed the tomatoes, if I’m making this for myself, I don’t peel them. You end up with little papery bits of skin in your sauce, but if there’s no one to impress, I would rather save myself the time.

Use flavorful olives, if you can find them, rather than the blander, ordinary black olives.

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Filed under Food, Language, Recipes

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