Chosen Bites: Pasta Puttanesca

Passover is over and the pasta crave is on; Chef Laura Frankel dishes out an excitintg Pasta recipe with anchovies and capers.

April 28, 2011 12:00
1 minute read.

Pasta 521. (photo credit: Courtesy)


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Passover is over and I am craving pasta, and lots of it! This is my favorite go-to pasta dish. The spicy sauce has a crave worthy savory flavor from the anchovies and capers.

While the name and history of this dish are quite racy, the preparation is a snap. The mouthwatering garlicky quick supper can be on the table in 20 minutes.

I am embarrassed to think of how much pasta I consume in a year because of this dish. Do not even think of leaving out the anchovies. They “melt” in the olive oil, become nutty flavored and add a depth that would be sorely missed. This is a pantry dish. By that, I mean you can have everything on hand (except the parsley) in your cabinets.

Pasta Puttanesca

(Serves 4-6)

1 lb of pasta (we use whole wheat fettuccini in our house-the rustic pasta gives a nice toothy texture and since it is whole wheat it has more protein and fiber)
Extra virgin olive oil
5 cloves fresh garlic, thinly sliced
8 filets of anchovies (packed in olive oil), lightly chopped
½ teaspoon dried crushed chilies (or to taste)
¼-cup capers
½ cup kalamata olives (pitted and sliced)
1 8-ounce can of diced tomatoes
4 ounces of canned tomato puree
1/2 cup chopped flat leaf parsley
Salt and pepper
¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese (optional)

1.    Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Cook the pasta until it is al dente, about 7-9 minutes (I like it very toothy!)
2.    Place a large sauté pan over medium heat. Lightly coat the pan with Extra virgin olive oil. Add the garlic, anchovies and chili flakes. Stir until the anchovies break up and almost melt (about 2 minutes). Be careful not to brown the garlic. Add the canned tomatoes and the puree. Stir to combine. Add the capers and olives. Cook for five minutes to combine the flavors. Add the parsley and salt and pepper to taste.
3.    Before serving add the cooked pasta to the hot sauce and toss together. Place in a large serving bowl and garnish with additional chopped parsley, tasty Extra virgin olive oil and grated Parmesan cheese (optional).

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