Puttanesca gets you play … for whatever that’s worth
I like to cook for people, including my boyfriends. My ex and I had a Tuesday night tradition: I came over to his shoebox with a bag full of ingredients, cooked dinner, sometimes we fought, sometimes we got along, then we went to bed.
Months after we broke up he wrote me a mean-spirited email in which he cast a fond look back on my pasta puttanesca:
I remember […] the first time you made me that cured olive pasta and I wanted to memorize the recipe so I could make it for my next girlfriend.
Ouch, huh? (Never underestimate the pettiness of a man scorned.)
Anyhoo, I was just thinking about that puttanesca (not the ex, but one thought led to the other). It’s ready in 15 minutes, it’s super delicious, and you can make it as spicy as you like (or not at all). Also, all the essential ingredients are things you can, theoretically, store in your cupboards.
The beauty of the puttanesca is that it’s not a recipe per se — a little of this, a little of that, taste for seasonings, toss and manga! — but Jamie Oliver’s recipe was my original inspiration, so he’s a good place to start.
May you enjoy it with a lover who is not plotting his next assignation!
Nora’s Note: For the pasta, cappellini/angel hair is the best. Add a can of oil-packed tuna towards the end of cooking. Makes a much heartier meal. To dress this recipe up, add fresh fish (really good cod has worked wonders for me), and poach it gently in the sauce, then arrange on top of pasta.
1 pound (455 grams) dried spaghetti, the best you can get
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 handful capers, soaked in water and drained
2 handfuls big black olives, pitted
12 anchovy fillets, roughly chopped
3 small dried red chiles, crumbled
1 tablespoon dried oregano
Extra-virgin olive oil
2 (14 ounce/400gram) cans tomatoes, drained and chopped
1 good handful fresh basil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Cook the spaghetti in salted, boiling water until al dente. Meanwhile fry the garlic, capers, olives, anchovies, chiles, and oregano in a little olive oil for a few minutes. Add the tomatoes, bring to a simmer, and continue to cook for 4 or 5 minutes, until you have a lovely tomato sauce consistency. Remove from the heat, plunge the drained spaghetti into it, toss it over, and cover with the sauce. Rip all the basil over it, correct the seasoning, and drizzle with good extra-virgin olive oil.
blog comments powered by Disqus ← Previous Post Next Post →