I'll admit, there is nothing original about this recipe. There are thousands of sources to find it, but I just couldn't resist having it in my stable of dishes, not only because it's super delicious and I love it, but because Pasta Puttanesca is short for past alla puttanesca, which literally translates into "Pasta the way a whore would make it." C'mon, ya gotta love that! Hey, the bottom line is that this dish is fantastic. It will get you rave reviews from a small dinner party ...lotta, lotta flavor. Anyway, back to the whores. At one time, prostitution was legal in Naples and the story goes that they would make this aromatic dish to lure men into the bordellos (I guess the guys needed an excuse). Some of these ingredients can be pricey, but it's really easy. Get it? Pricey, but easy.
* Extra Virgin Olive Oil
* 2 Small Cloves of Garlic
* Anchovies (5 fillets)
* Capers (1 tablespoon)
* Tomatoes (5 fresh or a can of Italian peeled)
* Kalamata Olives in oil or brine (about 20)
* Red Pepper Flakes
* Fresh Basil
* Italian (flat) Parsley (about 1/4 bunch)
* Black Pepper
* Penne or Linguini
* Romano or Parmesan Cheese
My personal preference for this dish is to use fresh tomatoes and cook most of the water out of them.
Blanche the tomatoes so you can peel the skins off, then core them and chop. If you are using canned Italian tomatoes, then you will want to take the cores out of them..
Boil and salt the pasta water. You might as well start cooking the Penne because it takes a while and the sauce is fairly quick. If you are using a different type of pasta, then time it accordingly. This dish works just fine with just about any pasta, but make sure it's al dente.
Rinse the vinegar off of the capers and chop finely. Also finely chop 1 /12 cloves of garlic and 5 anchovies, then saute all of these in the olive oil.
Add the tomatoes. Then you are ready to start throwing in the rest of the ingredients - 1/2 teaspoon of red pepper flakes, several chopped leaves of basil, black pepper and the parsley (chopped). Leave some chopped parsley to sprinkle on top of the finished dish. You shouldn't need salt because you will be getting it from so many of the ingredients.
If the olives (about 20) were in vinegar, rinse them before you chop them in half and toss them in.
Once the pasta is ready you can mix the sauce in with it or ladle the sauce (I prefer ladling).
Sprinkle some Romano cheese and some chopped parsley on top of that. Beautiful and delicious.
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