Pasta Puttanesca

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.

Pasta Puttanesca

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

olive oil

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

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