Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Pasta alla Puttanesca

We had dinner at Architect’s house this past Wednesday.    On Monday, she just returned from a lovely escapade visiting her daughter in Costa Rica, who was there for a traveling writer program…it’s a beautiful country, as you can see:


Still a little travel weary she wanted to make something easy, so she made one of her go-to dishes, Pasta alla Puttanesca.  Loosely translated, puttanesca means “of the prostitute.”  The myth is that the ladies of the evening would make this fast, spicy and easy (no pun intended) dish with readily available items in the pantry and the aroma of the dish cooking would waft out of the windows and lure clientele into their “establishments.”  

I think the correct term might be bordello.

This is a tangy recipe with plump, delicious tomatoes harmonized by the saltiness of the olives, capers and anchovies, the spiciness of pepper, and the always pleasing, and the 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 downright sultry just eating this dish although we didn’t hear any additional clients guests knocking at the door. 

Pasta alla Puttanesca
Pasta with Olives and Capers
From:  The Ultimate Italian Cookbook

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

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 to garnish.

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