Monday, January 4, 2010

Pasta Puttanesca

As you can see by the above photo, we've been dealing with a ton of the white stuff around here, and it doesn't look like it will be disappearing anytime soon.

I hope all of you had wonderful Christmases. My parents joined us here at our house. We ate (too much!) and opened (too many!) presents and were truly grateful to be in a warm home, because a blizzard was a-blowin' outside! And most of all, we were grateful for the opportunity to celebrate the birth of our Savior!

Well, one of the dishes I made for Christmas dinner was this recipe from Epicurios, which I served as a side dish to a prime rib roast. Yum!

I slightly adapted the recipe to our personal tastes (such as using black olives) and the fact I couldn't find fresh basil at the store, but the original recipe is perfectly MSPI-friendly, as well. Oh, and don't be afraid of the anchovy paste, it completely dissolves into the sauce and just leaves a wonderful salty flavor behind. Not fishy in the least! But if you want to make the dish vegetarian, just leave the paste out. You will likely need to add more salt, though.

Pasta Puttanesca

1 lb. dried linguine
5 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp. anchovy paste
1/2 tsp. hot red-pepper flakes, or to taste
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 (28-oz.) can crushed tomatoes (preferably Italian)
1 can black olives, sliced in half
2 tbsp. capers, drained and rinsed
Pinch of sugar (optional)

Cook linguine in a pasta pot of boiling salted water until barely al dente.

While pasta boils, cook garlic, anchovy paste and red-pepper flakes in oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until fragrant and pale golden, about 2 minutes.

Add crushed tomatoes to garlic oil along with olives and capers and simmer, stirring occasionally, until pasta is ready. Stir in sugar, salt and pepper to taste, if desired.

Drain pasta and add to sauce. Simmer, turning pasta with tongs, until pasta is al dente, about 2 minutes.

Tip: The sauce can be made up to a few days ahead and reheated. Just add the freshly cooked pasta to the pan before serving.

Quick Start with MSPI Mama: This is one of my Quick Start recipes

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