Saturday, November 17, 2012

Puttanesca

It was Architect’s turn to cook and she made Puttanesca.   Loosely translated, Puttanesca means “in the style of a prostitute.” While eating it I recalled the Laverne & Shirley episode in which they played hooky from work and two plain clothes policemen mistake the duo for being “Loosey Gooseys for money.”  I laughed until I cried and I still use that phrase.

Although not to describe myself.

Putting my reminiscence aside, a few different myths explain why ladies of the evening would be associated with this recipe that has its origins in Naples…the smell would waft into the streets and lure clientele…or it is easily prepared using items commonly found in the Italian pantry…..or, perhaps the most believable story is that this is a quick and satisfying dish for those ladies who simply wanted to move on to other things.

Whatever those “things” may be.

This is a tangy recipe with plump, delicious tomatoes that are complimented by the saltiness of the olives, capers and anchovies, the spiciness of pepper and the always pleasing and oh-so-satisfying aroma of garlic. It’s traditionally served with any long pasta but Architect chose to serve it over a heartier pasta, rigatoni.  Because it takes only minutes to prepare, start the sauce while the pasta is boiling.

We felt sultry just eating it.  Settle down, boys.

Puttanesca
From:  The Ultimate Italian Cookbook

Ingredients
4 Tablespoons of Olive Oil
2-4 cloves of garlic, minced
Small dried chili pepper, crumbled OR 1 teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes
1 two oz can of anchovy filets, chopped
12 oz of tomatoes, canned or fresh, chopped
2/3 cup of pitted black olives
2 Tablespoons capers, rinsed
1 Tablespoon of tomato paste
1 lb of pasta
2 Tablespoons of chopped parsley for garnish

Directions
Add pasta to salted boiling water and cook until al dente.  Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan.  Add the garlic and pepper and cook for 2 minutes, until garlic is golden.  Add the anchovies and mash them into the garlic with a fork.  Add the tomatoes, olives, capers, and tomato paste.  Stir well and cook over moderate heat until the pasta is done, about 8 minutes.  Turn the pasta into the sauce and cook for another minute or two, turning the pasta constantly.  Sprinkle with parsley and serve.  

Architect also made homemade bread out of pizza dough that was so good!
Foodie was off to San Francisco so we missed her. Singer brought a tasty salad made with pomegranate seeds and butter lettuce but it was not in the lovely traveling salad bowl because that was at Foodie’s house.  It was my turn to bring dessert…more on that later.  And, of course, there was wine.

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