Pasta – Prostitute Style {pasta puttanesca}

I’ve been wracking my brain for some time now trying to create a clever reference to Italian ladies of the night to kick off this post but I’m not getting anywhere. I started crafting an entire back story for the origins of pasta puttanesca (involving Sicily, convents, whores and sailors) but I decided that lots of people tend to believe what they read on the internet and I didn’t want to create a stir involving any mobsters. So all you’re getting from me today is a recipe. Plain and simple.

And probably kinda boring but at the same time, but it’s Tuesday, quite possibly the most boring day of the week and I didn’t want to upset anyone.

I know there are some of you out there who don’t care for olives, so I suppose you should skip this entire post because this is olive-heavy. But for the rest of you, even if you don’t care for capers and/or anchovy paste, I implore you to read on and not only that, to try this recipe too.

Technically, I guess I don’t like capers or anchovy paste either but seldom am I in a situation when I’m having to throw back a 1/2 cup of capers or brush my teeth with anchovy paste. You get the point – they add really unique flavor to dishes without being the centers of attention and as such are rather non-offensive (like the Eagles in the 4th quarter! Zing!).

While you may not have these things in your pantry today, you can go buy them and keep them all on hand for the next time you want to do this. It’s a great “why on earth do we have so many jars of olives” kind of recipe when you’re desperately trying to clean out the fridge.

This recipe takes as long to cook as it does for the water to boil and the pasta to finish. Here are some of the tails (you probably expected me to say deets, right Tom Haverford?)

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 large (28 oz) can of whole tomatoes in puree (with basil if you’ve got it)
  • 1/2 cup pitted and halved Kalamata olives
  • 2 teaspoons anchovy paste
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons drained capers
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 to 3/4 lb. pasta of your choosing
  • fresh parsley
  • Parmesan cheese

Get a large saute pan and heat up the olive oil over medium heat. Add garlic and saute until fragrant. I had some extra minced shallots lying around from making salad dressing so I added that too. Feel free to mimic my whimsical approach to your cooking.

Try to keep up here.

Now add everything else.

Drop your pasta in the water to boil while the sauce simmers for about 10 minutes. When your pasta is cooked and drained, add it back to the pan for some hot puttanesca action. Wink wink. Nudge nudge.

I serve this bad girl up with some fresh parsley, parmesan cheese and a salad. Because I always eat a salad with dinner but I always especially extra eat a salad with pasta. Always.

Insert clever Italian closing salutation here.

Stupid Tuesdays.