Thursday, October 15, 2009

Punchy Puttanesca

Anchovies rock. I love them as does my daughter. My wife, not so much, unless they are in a good caesar salad.

I especially like the tanginess and punch anchovies give a good puttanesca. With my wife away for a few days at a writing conference, I decided to try to make a puttanesca at home. I consulted a couple of recipes and forged ahead.

To my surprise, especially given what restaurants charge for a puttanesca, it was easy and quick, about 30 to 35 minutes start to finish. The result was outstanding: powerful, over-the-top taste and remarkably filling. My daughter, usually a bottomless pit in spite of her small size, rejected desert she was so full.

Here's the recipe:

Saute a cup of finely chopped onions (not minced) and one minced garlic clove (more depending on your taste) in a quarter cup of olive oil on a medium low heat until translucent, but not brown. How long it takes depends no the heat of your stove. My electric range needed about seven minutes.

Add a quarter cup dry white wine and bring to a boil. Add finely chopped anchovies (I used six, again, depends on your taste) and cook until they disintegrate and dissolve. Add four cups canned hand-crushed Italian tomatoes, two tablespoons rinsed capers, a cup of chopped olives (you can use oil cured, but I used regular black olives out of a can and they were fine) and a shake of red pepper flakes (optional, gives it a little bite). Adjust seasoning (I found it needed pepper and just a little salt), then bring to a boil, lower heat and simmer 10 minutes. Add six to 10 torn basil leaves, depending on size of leaves and taste (I like a lot of basil) and a shake of ground oregano.

Serve with spaghetti and viola! A quick, tasty meal that knocks your socks off.

1 comment:

  1. This sounds awesome. Since not everyone around here is a fan of anchovies and olives, I think I'll wait for some night when that person is working late and fix this for myself...