Weeknight Pasta Puttanesca
Pasta Puttanesca, or the dish of the whores as my husband loves to call it.
Yeah, you read the right. I said whore. As in hooker. And if we’re getting specific, we’re talking about Italian hookers.
Rumor has it this dish was made by whores back in the day to bring in the customers. Apparently a pot of simmering pasta in tomato sauce made the men want to come in for a bite to eat and a quickie.
Sounds about right.
My best friend in Charlotte isn’t much of a cook. She works her booty off during the day and she’s lucky to have a husband who is a master in the kitchen. So after a long day at work she comes home to a home cooked meal.
Jon made this dish for me on a visit I took to North Carolina years ago. I couldn’t stop talking about it or eating for that matter and now I request that he makes it every year on their annual trip to Park City over Christmas. I’ve watched him make a few times, I’ve texted him with questions, and I still don’t think I make it like he does. But that’s ok because mine is just
almost as good.
This quick and easy puttanesca has become one of my go to dinners during the week. I can throw this sauce together in the time it takes to boil and cook pasta. Dinner is on the table in under 30 minutes. Take that Rachael Ray.
Jarred marinara, I use my own that I can during the summer, gets a facelift with capers, olives, garlic, chili flakes and some basil. It’s pretty amazing that just a few ingredients can kick up the flavor of a jar of marinara is just a few minutes. I think it’s the chili flakes and the brine from the capers and olives that really make the difference.
We usually keep it vegetarian but some grilled shrimp would be an awesome addition to this.
Hope you all had a wonderful weekend and an even better week.
I must MUST give a shout out to my baby who turns two today. I love the crap out of him and he makes my world a better and brighter place. Happy Birthday little man!
- 1 lb penne or similar pasta
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 2-3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
- 1 heaping tablespoon of capers + 1 teaspoon of brine
- 15 pitted kalamata olives, quartered
- 1- 24 oz jar homemade or jarred marinara sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/4 cup torn fresh basil, for garnish
Bring a large pot of wather to boil and salt generously. Drop in pasta. Cook according to package directions. Meanwhile, put the olive oil in a medium skillet over medium heat and add the garlic and chili flakes. Cook for about 1 minute taking care not to burn the garlic. Add the capers, quartered olives and brine from capers cooking and stirring 1 minute more. Stir in the marinara sauce. Turn the heat to high, bring to a boil, and then reduce heat and let simmer until pasta is done. Drain the pasta and add most of it to the skillet. I like my pasta with a lot of sauce so I use just under the full pound but feel free to use all of it. Toss the sauce and pasta together and heap a good size serving into individual bowls. Sprinkle with a bit of basil and serve.