Monday, April 8, 2013

Monday Recipe: Spaghetti alla Puttanesca

     Ah, the much maligned anchovy. So few people understand you. When you say anchovy, "EEW! Slimy fish!" or some approximation is normally the response you get. Some misinformed people think pizza is the natural habitat of the anchovy. They turn their head and will not condescend to eat anything with this salty little devil lurking about in it.
     My wife is one of those people. I have tried and tried again to get her to eat an anchovy. It wasn't happening. Then I realized what I was doing wrong. I needed to trick her. I needed to add anchovy to something she is powerless to resist. I laid one across my manly chest. Nothing. Then I realized I'd be better off putting them in some sort of pasta. I'm convinced she loves pasta more than me. I think she loves me because I make pasta for her to eat. Whatever works. I started digging through my Italian cookbooks until I found this little gem in World Food Italy by Linda Doeser. The recipe from the book calls for linguine, we only had spaghetti in the house, so there you go. How can you possibly go wrong with a recipe that literally translated, means "Whore's Style Spaghetti?"

Spaghetti alla Puttanesca
(via World Food Italy by Linda Doeser)
(for the sauce)
  • 3 tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 10 anchovy fillets, drained and chopped 
  • scant 1 cup black olives, pitted and chopped
  • 1 tbsp. capers, rinsed
  • 1 lb. plum tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped (we used tomatoes we canned from our garden)
  • pinch of cayenne pepper
(remaining ingredients)
  • salt
  • 14 oz. dried spaghetti
  • 2 tbsp. chopped fresh flat-leaf pasta (which I totally forgot to use. Oh well)
  1. Heat the olive oil in a heavy-bottom pan. Add garlic and cook over low heat, stirring frequently, for 2 minutes.
  2. Add anchovies and mash them with a fork. Add olives, capers and tomatoes and season to taste with cayenne pepper.
  3. Cover and let simmer for 25 minutes.
  4. While sauce is simmering, bring pot of salted water to boil. Add pasta and cook until al dente. Drain.
  5. Spoon sauce over pasta and toss. Garnish with parsley. 
This makes about 4 servings.

Good times!

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