Friday, July 13, 2007

Pasta Putanesca

This is by no means an original recipe, but it is my adaption of the classic, based on a meal I ate in Diamonte, Calabria. Il Giardino restaurant used mushrooms that were not typical of this dish and red pepper flakes that were. I use neither. The one ingredient that made all the difference for me was the basilico. I have eaten Putanesca sauce with parsley, but I prefer the basil.


3T extra virgin olive oil
4 minced garlic cloves
1T minced capers
20 oil cured, pitted olives
4 anchovy fillets
1/3 cup loosely packed basil leaves
1 medium can of whole tomatoes

Alternate Ingredients:
1t red pepper flakes
1/2C sliced crimini mushrooms

Coarsely chop the olives, then mince both the capers and garlic. Over medium heat, in a pan that will accommodate both sauce and 1lb of cooked fettuccine, pour in the olive oil and add the olives, capers and garlic. Saute for a minute but do not brown the garlic, then add the anchovies and stir until they disintegrate. Add the whole tomatoes and sauce from the can, crushing the tomatoes with your hands, then stir and let simmer for 5 minutes.

When the fettuccine is just short of al dente, drain it and add to the sauce, stirring until the pasta is covered with the sauce. Turn off the heat and add coarsely chopped, fresh basil leaves to the pasta and stir. Now your pasta is ready to be plated. Add freshly grated pecorino Romano cheese and serve.

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