Recipe Update: Puttanesca 

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The one recipe I make more than any other in my household is puttanesca. You may remember it from this post, it is my absolute favorite. It’s super fast and an easy pantry staple since all the ingredients used can be kept on hand. Usually the sauce is hearty with lots of diced tomatoes and kalamata olives but I recently tried something new and I’m not sure I will ever go back. Have you ever used an immersion blender? I’ve talked about it before in this yummy post but it’s not really a kitchen tool I break out too often…until now. On a recent puttanesca night I used the immersion blender to blend down about half the sauce in the pan. After blending I let the sauce simmer on the stove while the pasta cooked and at the end was left with a velvety sauce with just enough texture and a lovely deep flavor. I have done it a few times now and couldn’t keep this revelation a secret any longer. If you don’t have an immersion blender I suggest pulling the trigger. They aren’t very expensive and can be used in sauces like this, soups, smoothies, mashed potatoes and pancakes to name a few. Check out some great options on this list.

Below is the full puttanesca recipe, just make sure to hit it with the immersion blender at the end.

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)
  1. Put water for pasta on to boil, don’t forget to add plenty of salt to the water
  2. 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)
  3. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and cook, stirring for another 30 seconds until the garlic is fragrant
  4. 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…THIS IS WHEN I USE THE IMMERSION BLENDER
  5. 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
  6. 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!
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