Saturday, September 16, 2006

Pasta Puttanesca

Ever since I read first few books in Lemony Snickett's A Series of Unfortunate Events, I have wanted to make Pasta Puttanesca. I don't remember which book Violet makes it in because I read it quite awhile ago, but I think it's the first book. Whatever. Point is, it made me want to eat it, so today I made some.

The recipe I used is from 101 Meatless Family Dishes by John Ettinger. I guess a traditional puttanesca sauce would involve anchovies, but this one does not use them. It was good, albeit time consuming (the sauce simmers for an hour and a half). I also am not sure yet if I like capers. I would make this again, but I'd like to find a recipe that is quicker to make so I can enjoy it during the week. I'd also like to find a healthier recipe, since the sodium content and calories for the recipe as it's written are astronomical (though I did cut down on the olive oil significantly, so that probably helped).

Pasta Puttanesca
1 lb spaghetti or other pasta
12 fresh, peeled tomatoes with juice or 2 cans (28 oz each) chopped tomatoes
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
8 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 carrot, grated
3 Tbsp chopped fresh oregano or 1 1/2 Tbsp dried
3 Tbsp chopped fresh basil or 1 1/2 Tbsp dried
2/3 cup red wine
2 Tbsp drained capers
1 cup pitted and sliced black olives, preferably kalamata
Grated Parmesan cheese

Puree half the tomatoes and set aside. Heat oil in a skillet and add onion. Saute 3-4 minutes, then add garlic and saute 1 minute more. Add parsley, carrot, oregano, and basil and cook another minute or two. Add the remaining half of the tomatoes and tomato puree and bring to a boil. Cook down 5 minutes, stirring, then cover and simmer for an hour, stirring occasionally. Add the red wine, capers, and olives, and simmer, uncovered, 20 minutes longer. Meanwhile, cook pasta according to package directions and drain. Toss sauce with pasta and top with Parmesan cheese, if desired.

Yield: 4 servings

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