Now, if you’ve been reading my blog or have known me for more than, like, 5 minutes, you know that I’m a lover of pasta.
JB + Pasta = 4ever
And you may or may not know that I snagged my husband by making spaghetti puttanesca for him. Okay. It may not have been the puttanesca. But I like to think it was.
I love puttanesca sauce – so tangy, briny, spicy and rich. I’ve held back from making it in large batches because I know I’m the only person in my house who would truly enjoy it – Rob would just pick out the olives and I’m sure his Dad wouldn’t even touch it. What’s the point?
Well Anthony Bourdain, in his infinite wisdom, showed me the light during a recent episode of his show. Puttanesca doesn’t have to be slow-cooked for hours like I cook my other sauces. Oh nay, nay. It can easily be made in smaller batches as a quick sauce.
DUH. I’ve been making quick sauces for years! Why didn’t I think of that?
Don’t know how to pit olives without one of those olive pitting gadgets? Easy. Work out your aggressions on them – put a wide knife on top and give it a solid whack, just like you would a clove of garlic prior to peeling. The pit should then be easy to pull out.
Now, there’s something we need to discuss. Namely the usage of anchovies.
Wait! Come back! Hear me out!
Don’t be scared. The anchovies cook down in olive oil until they are nothing more than a paste.
Why are the anchovies necessary? Because they add such richness, such depth to the sauce. Just trust that when I took my first taste, my eyes closed in blissful ecstasy.
I’m serious. Blissful ecstasy, people. Anchovies took me there. So don’t turn your nose up at them until you give ’em a shot.
Remember to cook them low and slow, or else you’ll wind up with crunchy bits. Don’t ask me how I know this
from experience. Just trust me.
Otherwise, the entire sauce comes together in the time it takes the pasta to cook.
And then it’s time for bliss, people. Serious bliss. Anchovies and all.
2 cups uncooked pasta
2 tablespoons olive oil
5-6 anchovy filets, in oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
1-2 teaspoons drained capers
1 cup chopped tomatoes
1/2 cup olives, pitted and roughly chopped
1 pinch red pepper flakes
Chopped parsley and shaved parmigiana (optional)
Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling, salted water.
After placing pasta in water, heat olive oil in pan over medium heat. Add anchovies and cook for 2 minutes, stirring frequently and breaking up pieces.
Add garlic and cook for 30 seconds, stirring to incorporate with anchovy paste.
Add capers and tomatoes. Turn heat to medium-high and simmer, stirring frequently. After 3-4 minutes, add olives and red pepper flakes.
When pasta is just short of al dente, reserve 1/2 cup of water, then drain and add pasta to pan. Toss with sauce and add reserved water a bit at a time if sauce needs thinning. Allow pasta to finish cooking in sauce.
Divide and serve with parsley and shaved parmigiana, if desired.
Sharing with: Sumo’s Sweet Stuff, It’s So Very Cheri, A Southern Fairytale, Delightfully Dowling, All the Small Stuff, 33 Shades of Green, Blessed With Grace , Nothing But Country, Sugar and Dots, Trendy Treehouse, The Lady Behind the Curtain, This Chick Cooks, Designs by Gollum, Tidy Mom, Simply Sweet Home, Balancing Beauty and Bedlam,