Monday, April 2, 2012

Pasta Puttanesca Ala Claudia

While I know it goes back to my childhood, I love to figure out where my food likes (and dislikes) come from.  But more about that later, let’s talk about supper first.

I’ve been wanting pasta for several days and after seeing Claudia’s recipe for Salmon Puttanesca which led me back to her Pasta Puttanesca with homemade sauce, I wanted it – it has olives, anchovies, and capers so it had to be good.  I made a half recipe and altered it just a little to end up with this:

1/8 cup olive oil
3 cloves minced garlic
1 qt home canned tomatoes, pureed in the food processor
1/2 cup tightly packed, pitted, and halved Kalamata olives
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 tablespoon drained capers
1 tablespoon minced anchovy fillets - mine was heaped up a little
1/4 teaspoon dried crushed basil
1/4 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper flakes - heaped up for Bev’s taste
Salt if needed - I added none
1/2 pound pasta, cooked to al dente - I used small penne

In a medium pot, heat the olive oil over medium high heat.  Add the garlic and cook an additional 2 minutes.  Add the tomatoes and the remaining ingredients and simmer until the sauce is thickened and slightly reduced, about 40 minutes.  Adjust seasoning, to taste, cover and set aside (I added nothing).

We had some shrimp left from another meal so I cooked them in the sauce for about 5 minutes, removed to a bowl, and covered to keep warm so I could put them all on top.

Drain the al dente pasta, add back to the warm pan, pour in the sauce, and toss to coat.

Plate the pasta, add grated parmesan, add the shrimp, then a little more parmesan.

Bev and I both thought the pasta was awesome and while I've had it before, this may be my new favorite tomato sauce – thanks Claudia, I'd serve this to company.  While we ate all of the shrimp the leftovers still had the shrimp flavor which made me think about another flavor for it - bacon.  It may make it something other than puttanesca sauce, but next time I think I’ll start by frying a couple of slices of chopped bacon, omitting the olive oil, and see what I get.

I had a salad of some romaine leaves, Newman’s Caesar Dressing, parmesan cheese, and the remaining anchovies in the can.  Anchovies (from a can) may be like Brussels sprouts and you either like them or hate them – Bev is the latter unless they are hidden like in this sauce.  When I was a kid, salad was nearly always the veggies topped with Mom’s Italian dressing made from vinegar, oil, water (probably in one of those premeasured cruets if they made them then).  As far as I know, it had no herbage in it, but the salad often included anchovies and since I didn’t know there were so many agineers, I gobbled them up, and to this day I still enjoy them a lot and I know exactly where this comes from.  My disgust for cream of wheat came from the same place. 

And some really good news - remember the $600 million+ lottery jackpot from this weekend, well Bev had 3 numbers and hopefully will get some of her $20 back.

All photos can be enlarged by clicking on them.

Have a great day and thanks for stopping by Almost Heaven South.

One year ago:  Pecan Crusted Chicken Ala Bo With Mac & Cheese

Two years ago: Pets And Stuff


3/27/12  meal date


  1. Hi Larry - everything looks good on your plate to me .. (except the shrimp which my innards don't like). I'd have battled with you for the "leftover" anchovies.

    Puttanesca is a great sauce and I think bacon would be a wonderful addition. My preference would be pancetta for its sweet/salt combination. However, any of your own cured and smoked (or not) would be good too.

    I hope you have each and both had a great weekend, sending care and huggles,

    Michelle xxxx (Zebby Cat is sound asleep in the next room so I gues it is zzzzzzzzzzzzzz from him)

  2. Puttanesca sauce is one of my favorites too. So full of flavor and goodness.

    There's nothing wrong with hiding anchovies. Mario Batali says, "you're not obliged to tell" they;re in a sauce.

  3. LOL.. well $20 is better than nothing, that's for sure!! Better than we did in the lottery! lol
    LOVE pasta puttanesca.. and thanks for the link to Claudia's salmon puttanesca. I always love the different spins you can put on this classic dish!

  4. I once won $50.00 with 4 right numbers. Oh well. Love your pasta. Seems like a lot of us are on a pasta kick. BTW, my scallops were really large Larry. I doubt if you could eat them all. LOL.

  5. Well---I love 99.9% of what you offer on your blog posts, but I'll pass on this one unless the anchovies are not in it.... I do NOT like anchovies in any way, shape or form.... SO---guess I'll pass on this dish although I know it is delicious...

    Hope you have a great week.

  6. I have to admit that I have not had anchovies, but after seeing and smelling them when I was younger, I decided I wasn't going to eat them. Maybe I should rethink my reasoning because this looks so very good.

  7. I love puttanesca sauce but I've never tried making it myself. This sounds delicious!

  8. My beloved loves anchovies, but I'm not a fan. You're right, it's just one of those things: people love them or don't.

    Love your new header picture. Our flowers will be here soon!

  9. Did you say olives, anchovies and capers????? GOTTA try this recipe.

  10. LOL, Congrats on the win. $20 beats the heck out of nothing at all. :)

  11. I did Reeni's version of that sauce and it blew us away as well. Don't you love the aggressive flavors?


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