Some nights I really feel like spending an hour or so in the kitchen preparing a delicious dinner from scratch with lots of chopping, stirring, and simmering. But a lot of nights, particularly on a Friday night after I’ve already had one of Ross’ homebrews, I like a dinner that I can decide to cook at the beginning of Wheel of Fortune and be eating during the final puzzle. Bonus points if I can also do it one-handed because inevitably the other is being used to hold a baby, dress a Georgia (Barbie), or catch a counter-diving toddler. Pasta puttanesca is that meal. Of note, “puttanesca” comes from the Italian word for “whore” because it’s cheap, as in, the most expensive ingredient is a can of olives.
1 lb. pasta (anything goes, we tend to like cavatappi and other curly pastas)
3 cloves garlic
a few tablespoons capers (half a jar)
1 tin anchovy fillets (they come in a tiny tin of 12)
1 can/cup sliced olives (I like kalamata or Spanish queen, but black olives work fine if you’re not into pungent olives).
2 14oz cans diced tomatoes (fire roasted, if spice is your game)
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
handful of fresh basil
parmesan cheese for garnish
1. Boil the pasta according to package directions. I like to break the noodles in half so they are a little easier to eat. Mince the garlic cloves and chop the anchovy filets.
2. In a large skillet, heat a tablespoon or two of olive oil over high heat. Add the garlic, capers, anchovies, and olives and cook for a few minutes until the garlic becomes fragrant. Add the diced tomatoes and pepper and continue to cook, stirring occasionally for about 8 minutes (or until your pasta is done). Stir the tomato sauce into the drained pasta (I put the pasta back in the pot and stir in there so I don’t have another dish to wash). Tear the basil up and fold it in. Garnish with a few shavings of parmesan cheese.
Source: Adapted from Nigella Lawson’s Nigella at Home