Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Don't-Ask-Don't-Tell Pasta Puttanesca

Why don't ask, don't tell? Because puttanesca sauce contains three things people commonly believe they don't like: olives, capers and anchovies.


Before you give up on this recipe in disgust - know this, I loathe anchovies and am only just learning to tolerate capers (olives and I on the other hand... well put it this way - for much of my childhood I preferred olives to chocolate) but "a la" puttanesca is one of my favourite ways to eat pasta! Even when I've made it myself and I know what's in there!

See? Looks pretty harmless, really...
If you really, really can't stomach the idea of anchovies, you can substitute them for bacon or salami, I suppose. And the capers for gherkins. The olives? Pick 'em out you lazy so and so's...

Thus, if you're feeling brave, read on for the recipe:

You'll need:

1 - 2 Tbsp olive oil
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
45g can anchovies - chopped finely (actually, another tip with anchovies - is to soak them in milk to remove some of that salty sea flavour...)
2 cans crushed/chopped tomatoes
12 ish olives - chopped (black or green - your choice! I used green, stuffed here - but Kalamata is my favourite!)
1/2 Tbsp capers
flaked chillies (of chilli powder) to taste
1 Tbsp finely chopped basil

Enough pasta for four. Long, thinnish varieties are best here. - cooked according to the directions on the packet.

Grated Parmesan to serve.

Heat the oil, garlic and anchovies together in a pan. Heating all three together - rather that putting the anchovies and garlic into hot allow helps to prevent the garlic from burning and becoming acrid and also helps the anchovies to melt and dissolve into the garlicky oil thus lowering the chances of coming across a lump on one's plate.

Stir in the tomatoes, olives, capers, chillies and basil... allow to heat through.

Tip in the, well drained, pasta and toss gently until the sauce evenly coats the pasta.

Serve in warmed bowls with something green on the side and grated Parmesan on the top (not traditional, but tasty all the same!)

1 comment:

  1. So this is my pick...I was all set to make it last night, when I discovered that we're out of anchovies!? Not sure how this happened, but I thought I'd let you know since I'm already somehow late with my post...it WILL happen. This week. Soon. At least someday..I just have to get to the store...