Recipe: Spaghetti alla puttanesca


A few days ago, a friend requested my recipe for pasta puttanesca, and I thanked her for suggesting my next blog post!  This sauce uses ingredients typical of Southern Italian cooking.  Although the dish has become a favorite, its history is quite brief–the earliest reference to it is from the 1960s. Here is the recipe, adapted from Rachel Ray’s recipe. Salty but oh so good!

Pasta Puttanesca

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

4 garlic cloves, minced

1 small can anchovy fillets, drained

10 -12 oil-cured black olives, pitted and chopped

1 large can (32 ounces) crushed tomatoes

1 fresh roma tomato, diced

2 tablespoons capers

1 tablespoon brine from capers

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

1 pound dried spaghetti

In a large skillet, heat olive oil and add garlic, anchovies, and black olives. Saute a few minutes until garlic is lightly golden, olives are softened, and anchovies have dissolved.

Add canned and fresh tomatoes, capers, red pepper flakes, oregano, and brine. Bring to a boil and then simmer about 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, cook spaghetti according to package directions. Drain and toss with puttanesca sauce. If you like, top with grated cheese–but the sauce is so flavorful, you don’t really need this! Serve with your favorite type of pasta–penne, vermicelli, whatever you like.

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