Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Weekend Kitchen: Pasta Puttanesca

Another day, another pasta.  What can I say...pasta is my love language.  I love to cook on the weekends when I have more time to spend cooking, and I'd say 95% of the time, I choose a new pasta to try.  

This recipe comes from the May 2011 issue of Cooking Light {Yikes, I've been holding on to this one for a while...}.  I adapted it, slightly.

- 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 2 or 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 cups canned, peeled tomatoes in juice
-  2 oz. tin of anchovy fillets
- 3/4 cup pitted kalamata olives, coarsely chopped
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley, plus more for garnish if desired
- 1 tablespoon drained capers
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 8 ounces uncooked fettuccine or linguine
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1.  Bring six cups of water to a boil

2.  Meanwhile, heat a large skillet over medium heat.  Add 2 tablespoons oil to pan. Add garlic; cook 30 seconds, stirring constantly. Add anchovies; mash in pan to form a paste. Stir in tomatoes and next 4 ingredients (through pepper); cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

3.  When water has boiled, add pasta to water and cook until almost al dente.  When draining pasta, reserve 1/2 cup of pasta water.  Add pasta and reserved water to tomato mixture; increasing heat to medium-high.  Cook five minutes or until pasta is al dente, tossing to combine.

4.  Divide pasta among four plates and top each with a drizzle of olive oil, cheese, and if desired, additional parsley.  Dig in and enjoy!

The olives, capers, and anchovies make this pasta incredibly flavorful - I loved it.  If you think you don't like anchovies, or are not interested in cooking with them, I'd recommend that you give them a try.  The flavor they add is so unique and delicious.  The fillets melt right into the oil you would never even know they were in the dish - other than the great, bold flavor!

The story of how this pasta got it's name is an interesting one - read about it here.

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