Monday, January 29, 2007

Pasta Putanesca

If you like pasta and you like a little zing, this dish is for you. It is a great meal to make if you don't have a lot of time. It doesn't require a lot of exotic ingredients either. Just a few pantry staples and you will be ready to whip it up.

Here is the link and the recipe.

Pasta Putanesca

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 onion—finely chopped
2 cloves garlic—finely chopped
4 anchovy fillets—chopped
1 small red chili—de-seeded and finely chopped
2 teaspoons capers—rinsed and drained
8 pitted black olives—quartered
14 oz (420g) canned tomatoes—chopped
½ teaspoon sea salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
7 oz (200g) spaghetti

HEAT 2 tablespoons of the oil in a frying pan over a medium heat and cook the onion for 6 minutes, stirring occasionally. ADD the garlic and anchovies and cook for a minute, stirring to break up the anchovies. ADD the chili, capers, olives, tomatoes, salt and pepper, and bring to the boil. REDUCE the heat to medium-low and simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. WHILE the sauce is simmering, cook the pasta. DRAIN the cooked pasta into a colander and put the sauce in the bottom of the pot. TOP with the hot pasta, parsley and reserved tablespoon of olive oil, and toss together gently to combine.

To make this meal more protein-packed you can add a 6 oz (180g) can of tuna (drained and flaked) to the sauce at the end of cooking to heat through.

I had heard of this dish many times and somehow never made it. That is until my niece decided to make dinner for me and my family. She had never made it either, but you would never know because it was delicious.

The name of the dish has a pretty funny origin. In Italian it translates to "women of the night" pasta. I have heard many different reasons for the name. One is that it is so easy and quick to prepare, that the "ladies" had plenty of time for business. Another is that it is hot and spicy, just like these women. Although it doesn't have to be. In my case, I can't eat spicy food, so my niece left out the hot red pepper flakes.


wheresmymind said...

mmm...adding tuna at the end is a great idea!

Annie said...

Yeah it was good!

Heather said...

ohhhhhhhhhh this looks so yummy. I really want pasta! Maybe for dinner.