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Tuesday, June 14, 2011

spaghetti alla puttanesca

like this time last year, i have a glut of fruits and veggies in the freezer from last summer's preservation. i counted many, many containers of tomatoes in there recently, and figured since i have 10 tomato plants outgrowing their half-gallon pots and waiting impatiently for me to put them in the ground, it won't be that long before handfuls of cherry and salad tomatoes are coming in from the garden. time to rev up the pace on using the frozen ones!

i found this recipe for spaghetti alla puttanesca and figured it would be a great light pasta dish. it was thoroughly delicious, only i committed a common culinary sin, one that i thought i'd outgrown a long time ago--i seasoned before i'd added all of the ingredients. since i was using my frozen, plain diced tomatoes rather than canned as the recipe called for, i thought i had some salty room to spare. however, capers, olives and anchovies added quite a good bit of salt, and the result was the kind of great that would have been excellent if i'd been a little bit more patient with the seasoning. as rob diplomatically put it, "it's great! i mean, it did get a little salty towards the end..."

so, the lesson is learned one more time--taste and add salt at the end of cooking, especially when ingredients that are nearly pure salt are involved, like anchovies and olives.

speaking of anchovies, leave them out for a vegetarian version of this dish.

spaghetti alla puttanesca
adapted from bon appetit, january 2008

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
4 large garlic cloves, minced
30 ounces diced tomatoes (frozen, canned or fresh)
1/2 cup pitted kalamata olives, halved
3 anchovy fillets, chopped
1 1/2 Tbsp drained capers
1 Tbsp chopped fresh oregano, or 1 tsp dried
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
whole wheat pasta
chopped parsley
grated fresh parmesan

heat oil over medium heat in heavy saute pan and cook garlic, stirring, until fragrant, about a minute. add tomatoes, kalamata olives, chopped anchovies, capers, oregano, and red papper flakes. simmer, stirring occasionally, until sauce is thickened, about 10 minutes (depending on how juicy your tomatoes are). taste, then season with salt and pepper.

while sauce cooks, cook pasta to al dente.

serve immediately over cooked spaghetti with parsley and parmesan cheese.

1 comment:

  1. Whoops!  Sounds like you had a saltapalooza there. I would have enjoyed eating it immensely I imagine, as I am a real salt fiend myself. That is why puttanesca is probably my favorite pasta sauce, closely followed by al' amatriciana. Have you tried that one? So delish!