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Thursday, September 5, 2013

Making quick pasta sauces at home: Pasta Puttanesca

Over the years, one thing I have found is that many people think that making a pasta sauce at home is a drawn out or difficult process, when nothing is further from the truth. Many sauces can be made fresh, very quickly and taste far better than the vast bulk of canned or jarred sauces that are found on grocery store shelves.

There are a few recipes that I want to share, but the one that I am posting today is a really good way to get started for even the most nervous home cook. It is easy and yet very impressive.

When getting home late I like to make my version of a classic, delicious Italian tangy, salty and spicy spaghetti dish known by a few names and with few variations, but that is most commonly called Pasta Puttanesca.

This version is for about 500 grams of spaghetti.

Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)
3 cloves garlic minced
50g. can of anchovies
1 small jar of capers
Approximately 15 each of green & black olives pits in. (Use whatever variety you like, though for the black olives I prefer Kalmata olives. Fresh as always is best, but jarred olives are fine. I find that canned olives are basically inedible, however).
1 tablespoon Italian Seasoning
1 teaspoon oregano
1-2 tablespoon Red Hot Chili Flakes (depending if you like hot or HOT!)
sea salt and pepper
1 large can diced tomatoes

First prepare the spaghetti to al dente

While doing that, heat the EVOO in a large saucepan to medium heat. Add the minced garlic as the oil just starts to get gets hot. Add the anchovies.  Stir in hot oil blending together for 3-4 minutes or so, crushing the anchovies as you go and until the garlic is beginning to get sauteed.
Add the capers. Stir and saute another 1-2 minutes.
Add the green and black olives, Italian seasoning, oregano, red chili flakes and sea salt and pepper to taste (remember anchovies are already salty).

Stir and saute another 1-2 minutes.
Add the can of diced tomatoes.
Reduce heat and simmer, stirring for several minutes to thicken and blend flavours.
Pour over pasta and serve, topped with fresh parsley if you like.

Have with crusty bread and, of course, a heavy Italian red wine.


1 comment:

  1. Yes we've all read those sauce recipes (usually passed down from an Italian mama) that instruct us to slowly simmer it all day to infuse the flavours - and yet look what you create literally in minutes!