RECIPE

Pasta Puttanesca

This sauce is named for ladies of the night. They would place pots of it in their windows to tempt men into the bordellos. I like it because it’s spicy, fast and easy (…no disrespect to the ladies.)

This tastes great paired with a Bitter Greens Salad.

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons (2 turns around the pan) extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 to 6 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 tin flat anchovy fillets, drained
  • 1 /2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 20 oil-cured black olives, cracked away from pit and coarsely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons capers
  • 1 (32-ounce) can chunky style crushed tomatoes
  • 1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes, drained
  • A few grinds black pepper
  • 1/4 cup (a couple of handfuls) flat leaf parsley, chopped
  • 1 pound spaghetti, cooked to al dente (with a bite)
  • Crusty bread, for mopping
  • Grated Parmigiano Reggiano or Romano, for passing, optional

Preparation

Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add oil, garlic, anchovies, and crushed pepper. Saute mixture until anchovies melt into oil and completely dissolve and garlic is tender, about 3 minutes: your kitchen never smelled so good! Add olives, capers, tomatoes, black pepper, and parsley. Bring sauce to a bubble, reduce heat, and simmer 8 to 10 minutes.

Toss sauce with cooked pasta. Pass bread and cheese at the table and serve with a simple salad of mixed bitter greens dressed with oil and vinegar, salt, and pepper.

Cook’s Note: Get your olives from the bulk bins in the market, rather than buying a jar. The unit price is always much less per pound and you can get just what you need for each recipe.

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