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Pasta Puttanesca

Pasta Puttanesca

This sauce is named for ladies of the night. They would place pots of it in their windows to tempt men into the bordellos. I like it because it's spicy, fast and disrespect to the ladies.

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 to 6 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 tin flat anchovy fillets, drained
  • 1 /2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 20 oil-cured black olives, cracked away from pit and coarsely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons capers
  • 1 (32-ounce) can chunky style crushed tomatoes
  • 1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes, drained
  • A few grinds black pepper
  • 1/4 cup (a couple of handfuls) flat leaf parsley, chopped
  • 1 pound spaghetti, cooked to al dente (with a bite)
  • Crusty bread, for mopping
  • Grated Parmigiano Reggiano or Romano, for passing, optional

Serving suggestions: a simple salad of mixed bitter greens dressed with oil and vinegar, salt, and pepper. Recipe follows

Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add oil, garlic, anchovies, and crushed pepper. Saute mixture until anchovies melt into oil and completely dissolve and garlic is tender, about 3 minutes: your kitchen never smelled so good! Add olives, capers, tomatoes, black pepper, and parsley. Bring sauce to a bubble, reduce heat, and simmer 8 to 10 minutes.

Toss sauce with cooked pasta. Pass bread and cheese at the table and serve with a simple salad of mixed bitter greens dressed with oil and vinegar, salt, and pepper.

Bitter Greens Salad:

  • 4 cups (about 2 bundles) arugula leaves, coarsely chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups (about 1 bundle) watercress leaves, coarsely chopped
  • 1 head Radicchio lettuce, coarsely chopped
  • 1 large lemon
  • Extra-virgin olive oil, to coat, 2 to 3 tablespoons
  • Coarse salt and black pepper
  • Oil cured black olives, for garnish, optional

Combine greens in a salad bowl. Squeeze the juice of 1 lemon over the bowl. Drizzle salad liberally with extra virgin olive oil. Toss salad and season salad with salt and pepper. Arrange salad on plates. Garnish plates with black olives, if using.