My Own Puttanesca

There as many versions of this famous dish, as I'm sure there are of its namesake, those ladies of the night.  What's a girl to do?  When the days are hot, the evenings still warm in the kitchen, and nothing in particular grabs your culinary attention?  You need something with zip and flavor to get you out of the humdrums.

Our solution is to start opening cupboards and fridge, pulling out those staples, hopefully present for times such as this. Things you love and shouldn't be without; Parmigiano Reggiano, anchovies, olives, capers, garlic, red pepper flakes, tomatoes (canned or fresh) and pasta.  Then, you add a bit of something to make it your own.  Substitutions are allowed.  Free expression and all that.

In my case, additions would be a sprinkling of toasted breadcrumbs, chopped parsley for color and freshness, and some lovely preserved lemon mixed in to offset the anchovies.  Also, using a quinoa spaghetti makes it gluten free. Though this is one meal you shouldn't have to go shopping to make. Use what you have on hand. It should be full of "broke da mouth" (local Hawaiian expression) flavor.

Spaghetti Puttanesca 

for 2

1/2 lb. box spaghetti
1 lb. tomatoes, canned or fresh (whole, sauce, crushed, or diced)
1/2 onion, chopped
olive oil as needed
2 tablespoons capers (more or less as desired)
1/2 cup olives, sliced
4-6 whole anchovies, chopped
1/2 teaspoon (or less) red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons minced preserved lemon
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
1/4 cup toasted breadcrumbs
1/4 cup chopped parsley

Definitely do your mise en place for this one.  Get everything out, chopped and ready to go, for a whiz bang quick meal.  Plenty of water boiling, dump in pasta.  I just can't resist that onion, sauteed in olive oil for a start, though it isn't absolutely necessary.  Then, everything but the cheese, breadcrumbs and parsley get simmered together a bit while your noodles cook.

Add the drained spaghetti, some pasta water, a drizzle of olive oil, and the cheese.  Toss together and sprinkle on the breadcrumbs and parsley, if you're adding.
Serve with a Spanish red, or an Italian red, a French red, an Australian or California red or a rose, or .... you get the picture.  Whatever is at hand.  A crunchy, fresh, green salad wouldn't hurt either, perhaps some good bread.

This will for sure wake up your taste buds, improve a dull day, change a bad attitude, or all of the above.  It's my pasta for the week, going over to Bellini Valli of More Than Burnt Toast, our current host for Presto Pasta Nights, an event begun and maintained faithfully by Ruth of  Once Upon a Feast.  More fabulous pasta meals than you could shake a stick at.


The Food Hunter said...

I like your version of puttanesca

Katerina said...

I love these versatile meals. Make life so easy.

tigerfish said...

You definitely had a good take on Puttanesca ;)

Sophie said...

I love your version of pasta puttanesca,..the dish looks scrumptious too!

MMMMMMM,..lovely food, dear Claudia!

Ruth Daniels said...

I never thought of adding preserved lemons to Puttanesca. And since I have a whole jar in my fridge...you know I'll be trying it out. Thanks for sharing with Presto Pasta Night. What will you be sharing this week?