Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Spaghetti alla Puttanesca

Like most people, I am constantly looking for quick and easy meals to make in the evening, and this is ideal. It is great because most of the ingredients are things you can keep on hand in dried form or canned, so it can be made quickly without the need to go shopping.

Ingredients (Serves 4)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 3 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 chopped anchovy fillets in olive oil, plus 1 tablespoon of the oil (optional)
  • 2 1/2 cups canned whole plum tomatoes, chopped with juice
  • 1/4 cup pitted black olives, chopped
  • 1/4 cup capers
  • 1 teaspoon fresh oregano, or 1/4 teaspoon dried
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme, or 1/4 teaspoon dried
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • Salt
  • 12 oz dried spaghetti or other strand pasta
  • 3 tablespoons fresh flat-leaf (Italian) parsley, minced
  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil.
  2. In a large frying pan over low heat, warm the oil and garlic until fragrant but not colored, about 2 minutes.
  3. Add the and their oil, and cook, mashing them with a wooden spoon, for about 2 minutes.
  4. Raise the heat to medium and add the tomatoes and their juice, and the olives, , oregano, thyme, and red pepper flakes.
  5. Cook, stirring frequently, until the sauce thickens, about 20 minutes.
  6. Season to taste with salt.
  7. Meanwhile, add 2 tablespoons salt and the pasta to the boiling water.
  8. Cook, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking, until al dente, according to the package directions.
  9. Drain, reserving about 1/4 cup of the cooking water.
  10. Add the pasta to the sauce along with the parsley, tossing to combine.
  11. Add as much of the cooking water as needed to loosen the sauce.
  12. Warm briefly over low heat to blend the flavors and serve.

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