In December 2008, I volunteered to cater my office’s Holiday Party. Around the same time, I invited one of the owners to lunch, just to get to know him a little bit better. At that lunch, I learned three things: he was a self-declared introvert, he enjoyed pinot noirs, and he loved pasta puttanesca, but only if it’s done right. Knowing that he also didn’t eat meat, I decided to add pasta puttanesca to the Holiday Party.
I’ll never know if he liked it, but we do. Since all of the ingredients already exist in our kitchen arsenal, it’s perfect for those nights we’re too lazy to figure out dinner; kind of like one night this week, when both of us realized it was already 6:00 PM and neither of us were in the mood to get dressed to go out.
Notes from the RGB kitchen:
– Use the best tomatoes you can find. If the sauce ends up too tangy, add a little bit of sugar. If not tangy enough, add some balsamic vinegar or worcestershire sauce.
– Try this with fried capers for an added texture.
– Make a double batch and freeze the leftovers for a rainy day.
Our pasta puttanesca starts with a base of garlic, anchovies, and crushed red pepper flakes. We add flavor with olive, capers, spices and tomatoes, and then finish by tossing with spaghetti and freshly grated parmesan.
~ Serves ~
~ Ingredients ~
- 4 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
- 1 2-ounce tin of anchovy fillets in olive oil
- ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- Handful (¼ cup) black olives
- 3 tablespoons capers
- 2 cups tomato sauce (or 14.5 ounce can of crushed tomatoes)
- 2 ripe tomatoes (or 1 14.5-ounce can diced San Marzano tomatoes)
- 1 handful Italian parsley (yield 2 tablespoons chopped)
- Small handful fresh oregano (yield 1 tablespoon chopped)
- Small handful fresh basil (yield 2 tablespoons chopped)
- 12 ounces cooked spaghetti
- Parmesan / Romano cheese, to finish
~ Preparation ~
Preparation Time: 20 minutes
Minute 1: Cook spaghetti according to package directions. Meanwhile:
Minute 2: In a medium saucepan, pour in 1 tablespoon of olive oil from the tin of anchovy fillets. Add crushed red pepper flakes and heat over medium-high heat for about 20 seconds; then turn heat down to medium. Add in garlic and anchovy fillets and cook an additional 2-3 minutes.
Minute 5: Add olives, capers, tomatoes, basil and oregano. Reduce heat and simmer for about 10-15 minutes.
Minute 20: Toss sauce with cooked spaghetti, plate, garnish with fresh Italian parsley and serve immediately with grate of Parmesan or Romano.
Nutrition content per serving: 434 calories, 78g carbs, 14g protein, 8g fat, 6g fiber
Cost per serving: $1.60
Source: Rustic Garden Bistro