Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Spaghetti Alla Puttanesca

The dreary days of winter make me crave comfort food.  To me, that means pasta.  I happily realized that one of my cookbooks is the perfect solution: 365 Ways To Cook Pasta (that's an Amazon link, although this version appears to be out of print).  Well, let's start with recipe number one, shall we?

Spaghetti Alla Puttanesca
Spaghetti a la Puttanesca is tonight's Italian specialty.  The name has something to do with Italian whores and there are a lot of urban legends about how this name came about.  My favorite is that it's such a quick and easy dish to make that women in this profession could enjoy a meal between clients.  This goes right along with my New Year's resolution to drink more wine.  Pinot Grigio is a perfect accompaniment.  My other resolutions are to listen to more music, burn more candles, and do more crossword puzzles.  So far, success!

I have to break recipe tradition right off the bat because I don't eat anchovies or capers.  This is my version of the recipe, but if you enjoy those things then by all means add some.  The black olives tripped me up a little - the regular grocery store didn't have what's in the recipe so I used pitted Kalamata olives and chopped them.  Delicious! 

Local highlights: Just the garlic today, from the Urban Farm and Feed store.  Not many fresh ingredients in this one, but that makes it easy to put together any time of the year. 

Spaghetti Alla Puttanesca
Serves 4

3 Tbsp Olive oil
2 Garlic cloves, minced
1 can (1 lb 12 oz) Italian-style peeled tomatoes (do not drain) or 3 diced whole tomatoes
1/4 cup chopped, pitted, salt-cured black olives
1 tsp crushed dried red pepper, or to taste
1/2 tsp dried oregano
Pinch of coarsely ground black pepper
2 Tbsp chopped Italian flat-leaf parsley
Salt to taste
1 lb spaghetti

1. Heat oil in large skillet, stove on Medium-ish.  Add garlic and cook for about a minute (don't let it brown).
2. Stir in can of tomatoes, olives, red pepper, oregano, and black pepper.  Cook over medium heat for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
3. While sauce is simmering, boil water and cook spaghetti noodles until al dente.
4. Stir parsley into sauce and simmer for 2 minutes.  Add salt to taste.
5. Toss pasta with sauce and serve with crusty bread and white wine.

No comments:

Post a Comment