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Friday, April 17, 2009

Pasta alla Puttanesca

I have been meaning to make Pasta alla Puttanesca for years--yes, literally, years. I remember writing down a recipe I saw on TV once back when I lived in San Diego (maybe in 2000?), meaning to make it. I still have that recipe in a binder at home, but somehow never got around to trying it out. Then I saw Bell'Alimento's version and decided that the time had finally come. Am I glad I waited! This is flavorful and rich, but healthy at the same time, and had the added perk of pleasing every palate at the dinner table!

It can be a little time-consuming, but with a little planning, it can be quick the night you make it. It calls for some roasted tomatoes and garlic, which I do in advance, either when I have a little extra time around the house or if I'm using the oven for something else. I'd imagine that you could do a huge batch and just freeze portions of it for future use (but since I have a European-sized freezer, this won't be happening until I get back to the U.S.) I just love looking at tomatoes--here are the before and after pictures. :-) (I roasted some cherry tomatoes along with these for another recipe I'm making this week...)

I also left the anchovies out because I'm not a fan of them, but if you like them, go ahead and put them in.

Thanks, Bell'Alimento for an awesome recipe!

Pasta alla Puttanesca
from Bell'Alimento

1/3 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 tbsp unsalted butter
1 small tin of Anchovies - chopped
6 Whole Roasted Garlic Cloves (see below) (I roughly chopped these.)
4 Cloves of fresh minced garlic
About a dime size of Red Pepper flakes
8-10 Herb Roasted Tomatoes (see below)
12 Calamata Olives - pitted & halved
2.5 Tbsp Capers - drained
About 1/3 cup Fresh Italian Parsley - chopped
About 1 Tbsp Fresh Basil - chopped
Fresh Parmegiano Reggiano Cheese to garnish - grated
Pasta of choice

Prepare your roasted tomatoes (you’ll need to remove the skins once the tomatoes have finished cooking) & roasted garlic according to recipes. When done, heat the oil in a large saute pan over medium heat. Add the anchovies & garlic cloves. Cook for a few minutes until anchovies are warmed through. Add the red pepper flakes (if you like it spicy, feel free to add more). Cook for about a minute & then add the roasted tomatoes, olives, & capers. Turn heat to low & simmer for 20-25 minutes. Add the minced garlic, parsley (saving a bit to garnish with) basil & butter. Simmer for just a few minutes. About 10 minutes before your sauce is finished, cook your pasta according to package directions. Drain pasta & add to the sauce pan, mix together. Transfer to serving bowl & garnish with remaining parsley & parmigiano reggiano.

Roasted Garlic
from Bell'Alimento

Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Garlic Bulbs (as many as you would like to roast)

Preheat oven to 400. Remove first few layers of garlic skin (careful not to remove the ones covering the actual cloves). Cut about 1/4″ off of top of each garlic bulb. In a shallow baking pan pour enough extra virgin olive oil to cover bottom. Lay garlic bulbs on top of oil cut side down. Let these sit for a few minutes to absorb the oil. Turn garlic bulbs over, rubbing the sides with the oil & then set so cut side is facing up. Cover your baking dish with tinfoil. Bake for 30-40 minutes until garlic is brownish & soft to the touch.

Herb Roasted Tomatoes
from Bell'Alimento

8-12 Roma tomatoes - quartered (I used normal, round tomatoes, and they turned out fine.)
3 cloves garlic - sliced
extra virgin olive oil
1/2-1 tbsp dried basil (1/2 for less tomatoes, whole for more tomatoes)

Preheat oven to 375. Spray a rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray. Place your quartered tomatoes into a bowl. Drizzle enough olive oil to coat well. Add your sliced garlic. Season with salt & pepper & basil. Toss together until seasoning and oil covers tomatoes. Place tomatoes onto a baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes.


Heather April 17, 2009 at 11:27 AM  

I love raosting tomatoes before using them. Concentrates the flavor so much! Plus I never seem to use toms fast enough, and they're easier to freeze that way.

Did you know puttanesca means "of the whore"?

Chef E April 17, 2009 at 12:04 PM  

I definitely feel 'of the whore' when I eat this! I love tomatoes, and pasta, so I get greedy...

Allison April 17, 2009 at 5:09 PM  

I am so happy to find a new puttanesca recipe! Puttanesca has to be my all-time favorite pasta dish, and I know that's a bold statement. I usually don't roast the garlic or tomatoes first, but I definitely will next time. I love anchovies, and use a lot of them, but I usually mash them up and dissolve them in the olive oil before adding the garlic. mmm, I think I'm going to make this tonight for dinner. Thanks!

Paula April 23, 2009 at 11:27 AM  

Hi Mindy! Thanks so much for posting my recipe. So sweet of you. I'm so happy that you liked it. It's really an incredible dish! Chock full of flavors! Grazie Mille! Paula @ www.bellalimento.com

Dazy July 24, 2009 at 5:03 AM  

This would be my son's version of Heaven! I think I'd enjoy it, too!

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