Friday, 20 February 2009

Tyler's Penne Puttanesca

I admit it, I love those salted little fishies. Pasta puttanesca is one of my favourites because it understands big flavour. Garlic, olives, anchovies, capers.... I am in heaven. This is a fun pasta as, a) it is fun to say, everyone loves alliteration, and b) the naughtiness of the name makes it extra fun to eat. See? Good times all around.
Now, I know you are watching your bucks, who isn't? We served this with a grilled strip loin steak that I sliced thinly and split between the two of us. Garnished with some thinly sliced red pepper, avocado and parsley and we eat like kings for about the same as it would cost us to go to MacDonalds for dinner. Plus we had leftover pasta for quick lunches. More money left over for wine, and that's a good thing!

Penne Puttanesca - Tyler Florence, Eat This Book
Pasta Puttanesca, or "whore's" pasta, is a classic recipe from the back streets of Naples. It owes its colorful name to the fact that it is easy, fast, and delicious like a beautiful Napolitana woman. TF.

1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
3 garlic cloves, minced (double the garlic, I say! I used at least six cloves)
6 anchovies, rinsed (I use the tinned ones, the whole tin - no rinsing)
1 cup black olives, pitted and roughly chopped (I used Kalamata - don't use canned, jarred are better tasting)
1 tsp dried red pepper flakes
3 tbsp capers, drained
2 (28 oz) cans whole tomatoes, preferably San Marzano style, crushed by hand
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, torn
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup freshly grated Pecorino or Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
1 pound dried penne
Put a large saucepan over medium heat and add the olive oil. Add the garlic and anchovies and cook, using a wooden spoon to break up the anchovies until they seem to dissolve in the oil. Add the olives, red pepper flakes, and capers, and let that cook for 2 minutes, stirring often.
Toss in the tomatoes with their juices and bring to a low simmer. Stir in the basil and season with salt and pepper. Simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the grated cheese.
Bring a big pot of lightly salted water to a boil for the pasta.
Drop the pasta into the boiling water and cook until al dente. Drain and dump it into a big pasta bowl. At the same time, bring the sauce back to a simmer. Pour it over the drained pasta and toss to coat. Serve immediately.

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