Kristin’s Puttanesca
April 8, 2009, 11:26 pm
Filed under: Main Dishes

Since pasta puttanesca, a  pasta dish native to Naples, Italy, is often thought to mean “whore’s pasta” or some variation of such, I hope I didn’t just refer to myself as a prostitute with that title.  Ooops. 

Most traditional recipes for puttanesca include anchovies, but I must confess, I just can’t stand anchovies.  Try as I might, I just don’t like ’em.  I’ve tried expensive anchovies, anchovies on a pizza in a dive bar, and anchovies in Rome…all the while hoping that I would have some revelation and all of a sudden I would love them.  Not so much.   Why bother?  Well, mostly because D.Jones absolutely adores them and often craves them and it has caused many a brouhaha when he wants to order them on his half of the pizza.  I am convinced they ruin the flavor of the entire ‘za, and you just know they creep on to my side, which disgusts and angers me, so to keep our marriage happy and intact, I have tried on many occasion to love the little fishies.  Hasn’t worked so far, so here’s my version of this popular dish sans ‘chovies and with some shortcuts.

Kristin’s Puttanesca

8 oz. ziti

2 T. olive oil

2 to 3 cloves of garlic, put through garlic press or minced

1 tsp red pepper flakes

1 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes, drained

1 8oz can Hunt’s tomato sauce with basil, oregano and garlic

1/2  cup mixed mediterranean olives, chopped

1 T. capers, drained and rinsed

fresh ground black pepper to taste

shredded parmesan


Add ziti to boiling, salted water. 

Meanwhile, coat bottom of large skillet with olive oil.  Heat over medium-low heat.  Add pressed or minced garlic and red pepper flakes.  Stir and allow to warm through.  Then add tomatoes, olives, capers and fresh ground black pepper to taste.  Allow to simmer on med-low, breaking up some of the larger tomato pieces with a wooden spoon.

When pasta is just al dente, drain in colander, then add to skillet with sauce.  Toss to combine and allow pasta to rest in sauce on low heat for a few minutes. 

Serve topped with shredded parmesan and mangia!

*Because of the capers, olives and parmesan on top, I have never salted my sauce, but I know many people do add salt.  It’s up to you.  I find that it doesn’t need extra.

Serves approximately 3.  img_4032


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[…] Jazz apple high marks, Jonesinforfood produces a fairly delicious-looking locally tweaked recipe for puttanesca, and the Strib writes up local dives and rounds up the usual suspects (Al’s! the Wienery! […]

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