Without a doubt puttanesca is made more than any other meal in my kitchen. I always have the ingredients on hand and I can get it from start to finish in less than 30 minutes. It also happens to be a big time bowl of comfort for so many reasons. When I first moved to California I was by myself for about 5 months until my main squeeze could join me. It was hard. Really hard. I took a lot of comfort in my cooking and every Friday night I would eagerly drive to the market and pick out some wine to sip and cheese or olives to nibble while I made puttanesca. I love it because it’s spicy, with great depth of flavor and could not be easier to throw together. Oh and fun fact, did you know it is often called slut’s spaghetti?! Umm, excuse me? The story goes that this is the dish of the ladies of the night because they couldn’t be bothered to go to the market for fresh ingredients. Hilarious!
Give it a go (don’t you dare skip the anchovies – I use anchovy paste) and cozy up on a Friday night for the perfect bowl of comfort, in my humble opinon.
Puttanesca, recipe adapted from Nigella Lawson, I make it to my tastes now with the additional glug or two of whatever red wine I have open, I also skip the parsley because it always ends up going bad in the fridge, serve with a side arugula salad
- 2-3 tablespoons olive oil, a few turns of the pan
- 8 anchovies drained and finely chopped, I prefer 1-2 tsp anchovy paste
- 2 cloves garlic peeled and finely sliced, crushed or grated
- ½ teaspoon dried red pepper flakes (I tend to add more)
- 2 small 14.5 oz or 1 large 28 oz can chopped tomatoes
- 1/3 cup pitted black olives, chopped a bit
- 2 tablespoons small capers, rinsed and drained
- 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley (to serve – optional)
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 package of spaghetti or linguine (I use gluten free brown rice noodles)
- Put water for pasta on to boil, don’t forget to add a turn of olive oil and plenty of salt to the water
- Pour the oil into a wide, shallow frying pan over medium heat and add anchovies, cook for a few minutes pressing and pushing with a wooden spoon, until the anchovies have almost “melted” (the paste will just cook down a bit so will only need a minute or so)
- Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and cook, stirring for another minute until the garlic is fragrant
- Add the tomatoes, olives, capers and a glug or two of wine and cook for 10-15 minutes, stirring every now and again, and crushing any large tomato pieces, sauce will start to thicken slightly, taste for seasoning
- If combining pasta and sauce into one dish set aside about a cup of pasta water in case you need it to make the sauce a bit “saucier” (technical terms people) when tossing in the noodles
- Drain noodles and add them to the sauce in in the pan, or as I prefer, bowl up the noodles and spoon ridiculous amounts of sauce on top, enjoy!