Monday, April 25, 2011

Pasta Puttanesca

Pasta Puttanesca is a very flavorful Italian dish that is full of bold flavors.

 For this dish you will need the following:
1lb of pasta of your choice ** (see pasta notes)
1 small tin of anchovies fillets (2oz)
1/3 cup olive oil
4-6 cloves of garlic grated
1 tsp of red pepper flakes or to taste (I wanted it extra spicy so I added about a Tbs)
1 16oz can of black olives coarsely chopped
1 15oz can of diced tomatoes (or you can use two whole tomatoes chopped)
1 cup frozen peas (optional)
1 cup diced green bell peppers (optional)
Small handful of Italian flat leaf parsley and basil finely chopped to garnish
Parmesan Cheese to garnish

1.)The traditional sauce also calls for  some capers (about 2-3 Tbs).  I personally did not have capers on hand so I omitted it from my recipe.
2.) I have also seen this sauce as more of a tomato base.  You can do this by adding a can of crushed tomato to the dish. 
3.) If you want to make this a heartier dish, you can also add a can of good quality tuna to the sauce while cooking.

Pasta Notes: The style and make of the pasta is up to you.  You can use spaghetti, penne, linguine, whole grain, traditional semolina etc...
Method: Cook pasta in a big pot of salted water until al dente.  You don't want to over cook the pasta.

In a large pan on medium heat, get your olive oil heated well.  Then add the drained can of anchovy fillets.  Put a lid on the pan and allow the anchovies to melt into the oil (2-3 minutes).  You can help it along by crushing them with your spoon too. 

**Careful, the oil and anchovies will splutter.

Once the anchovies have melted into the oil add your grated garlic and red chili flakes.  Stir well and allow to cook for about a minute.

Then add your chopped black olives and diced tomatoes.  If you decide to use frozen peas and green bell peppers add them as well.   Stir well and allow to cook for a couple of minutes.

Add 1lb pound of your cooked pasta and toss with the sauce.

Garnish with parsley, basil and Parmesan cheese.  Serves 4-6 people.   Enjoy