Wednesday, May 16, 2012


Dorothy Parker said, "You can lead a horticulture, but you can't make her think."

But perhaps you can convince her to make that delicious sauce that is her namesake.

I speak, of course, of puttanesca

After some research, I found that the name "originated in Naples after the local women of easy virtue. Pasta Puttanesca means 'The way a whore would make it', but the reason why the dish gained such a name is debated. One possibility is that the name is a reference to the sauce's hot, spicy flavor and smell. Another is that the dish was offered to prospective customers at a low price to entice them into a house of ill repute. According to chef Jeff Smith of the Frugal Gourmet, its name came from the fact that it was a quick cheap meal that prostitutes could prepare between customers."

All I know is that it is fast, cheap, and easy.  Kinda like a ...

Penne alla Puttanesca

I add wilted dandelion greens, rapini, or spinach into this dish to add something green. But, it's not necessary to enjoy this spicy, salty dish.

3/4 cup grape tomatoes, halved
1/3 cup black olives, halved (preferably oil cured)
8 anchovy fillets, diced
2 gloves of garlic
2 Tbl capers, drained
A healthy pinch of crushed red pepper
2-3 Tbl olive oil
1 lb whole wheat penne
2 cups of leafy green things (optional)

Prepare pasta according to the directions on the package in heavily salted water.

While the pasta cooks, in a large saute pan, heat oil and gently sweat the tomatoes (about five minutes).  Season with a bit of salt and the crushed red pepper.  As the skins start to pop, add garlic, olives, anchovies, and greens (if using).  At the last minute, add capers and cook for one more minute.  Drain pasta and add to the pan.  Toss well.  Serve with a touch of parmigiano.

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