Friday, November 20, 2009

Dinner for two - Pasta Puttanesca

Many of you have asked us to continue the Dinner for Two series and since you are so important to us, we are happy to oblige your love of couple time as you linger over a delicious and easy meal. Here's to you and a happy marriage! Enjoy & God's blessings!

I found this recipe eons ago in a local newspaper when my husband and I first got married and moved to southern California and it's been a staple in our home ever since. Normally I pair this dish with a Caesar salad and of course, garlic bread to help "sop" up all those extra juices!

Pasta Puttanesca

4 servings

1/4 cup olive oil

4 cloves of garlic, peeled and minced

6 anchovy fillets, drained and mashed or 1.5 TBSP anchovy paste

3 TBSP. capers

1/8 crushed red pepper flakes - add a pinch more if you like it spicy!

1 handful Kalamata olives, roughly chopped

1 bunch fresh basil, chopped or 1 tsp. dried basil

1 28 ounce can of crushed tomatoes

1/2 cup chopped parsley

12 ounces spaghetti - cooked and drained - reserving a cup of the pasta liquid

Grated Parmesan or Pecorino Romano cheeses


In a large skillet heat oil over medium heat and saute garlic and anchovies, cook until dissolved. Stir in the next 5 ingredients and bring to a slow boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes. If the sauce gets thick add in a little of the reserved pasta water. The sauce should not be pasty or runny, just saucy! :) Remove from heat. Stir in parsley and pour over pasta. Sprinkle with cheeses.

Voila! Dinner is served! And as they say in Italy...Mangia! Mangia! Eat! Eat!

As a side note: when I want this dish to be a little heartier, I've sauteed .5 pound of Italian sausage and added it to the sauce. The sausage compliments the sauce nicely and adds that little extra "oomph" factor that we need when my hubby has spent all day working in the garage. :)

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