Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Pasta Puttanesca

Wow. Where does the time go? I haven't posted here in months. I can make the excuse that I've been busy. Busy with non fun things like work. Preparing for an office audit that is required by the SEC once a year. Non fun things like being in the middle of a power struggle on the Water District Board of which I am a member. I won, by the way. We have a new board and fired the manager, but man was that stressful and scary. I even began packing at work and my husband acted as body guard a few times at meetings. We are still in the middle of a LOT of work reconstituting the District and trying to save it from bankruptcy.....but that is a story for my other blog.

Busy with fun things. My hubby made some wonderful raised garden beds for me out in the orchard area. Since he did such a great job, I had better grow something. Soon I will be harvesting French Shallots and Elephant Garlic. There is no point in growing things you can get in the grocery store, so I also planted Fava beans and Endame and some interesting varieties of tomatoes.

Busy entertaining/distracting myself on the Blogs arguing with the trolls on one particular blog and realizing that is a colossal waste of time. Also realizing that there are much more entertaining and friendly places to visit like Trooper York's blog. where they talk about among other things FOOD.

Trooper has requested a pasta recipe and so...in line with my burgeoning tomato crop that I expect to have soon. Here is an easy easy, cheap, fast and fool proof pasta dish.

  • 2 or 3 large tomatoes *seeded and coarsly chopped
  • 2 tbsp capers crushed
  • 1/2 tsp crushed red chili flakes
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh italian parsley
  • 1/2 cup chopped calamata olives
  • 1 small tin of anchovies in oil
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 1/2 pound linguini
  • fresh parmesan or asiago cheese

In a medium sauce pan over low heat saute the garlic anchovies in the olive oil. Don't over cook, just smoosh the ancovies and garlic and oil around to make a paste and to release all the yummy flavors. Add the chopped tomatoes, capers, chili flakes, olives and simmer on low for about 10 to 15 minutes, stiring occaisonally.

Meanwhile. Cook the linguini to al dente in a large pan that has been salted with about 1 tbsp kosher salt.

Drain the pasta. Pour the sauce over the pasta and toss in the Italian Parsley (bet you thought I forgot about it, didn't you?). Mix the linguini with the sauce and parsley.

Top each serving with a bit of shaved Parmesan or Asiago cheese.

Serve with a green salad, fruit (cantelopes are really good right now), crusty french bread .....oh and of course a good wine.

My husband hated the Kalamata Olives. He thought they were too salty with the anchovies so you might substitute milder ripe olives. For those of you who don't like hot/spicy dishes you can also lighten up on the chili flakes (weenies). I also like this sauce over Farfalle pasta. Soon, I plan to try it with a mixture of yellow and red tomatoes from my garden.

* to seed tomatoes: cut the tomato in half crossways and simply squeeze the seeds and juices into a bowl. You want as much of the juice removed from the tomatoes or else your sauce will be watery and you will have to cook it much longer which will ruin the delicate flavor of the capers.

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