Pasta Puttenesca

The fragrance of a simmering puttenesca sauce is told to have lured many to the tables.  Stories are varied, but I like the one where ‘Ladies of the Evening’, when looking for a new customer, would simmer this pasta sauce and the wafting aromas would lead men into their arms.

All I know is that this is one of my absolute favorite recipes.  It’s wholesome, spicy and very satisfying.  Like most homespun recipes, if you ask 10 cooks how to make it, each version you received would be a bit different.  Experiment with your own pantry items and your personal tastes to perfect your version!

Please search this blog for the Marinara recipe, or use your favorite sauce.

Pasta Puttenesca

Serves 4

  • 1 1/2 cups marinara sauce
  • olive oil
  • 1/4 cup olive tapenade or chopped black and green olives
  • 1 Tbls anchovy paste
  • 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 or more cloves of fresh garlic, smashed and minced
  • 4 cups cooked whole wheat pasta
  • 1/2 cup reserved cooking liquid from pasta
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • fresh basil for garnish

In a wide saute pan, heat the olive gently, then add the anchovy paste, olives, red pepper flake and garlic.  Stir and watch closely so as not to burn the mixture.  When sizzling, add the marinara sauce, and heat to a simmer.  Allow flavors to marry for about 3-4 minutes.  Toss in the cooked pasta and enough of the reserved liquid to just loosen up the sauce and pasta.  The pasta should be evenly coated, but not swimming in the sauce.  Taste for addition of salt, pepper or more red pepper flakes.  Garnish with lots of fresh basil.



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