Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Pasta Puttanesca

Our tomatoes are still coming in a few at a time and the blight about has then done in, so we’re still not getting enough to can – I’ll have to get serious about disease control next year. They nearly all have a problem when picked or develop one soon after picking. As soon as they’re ripe enough, we cut them up and put in the fridge and today we decided we’d best do something with them.

Bev’s suggestion was Puttanesca sauce, which sounded good to me. Since many of the tomatoes weren’t easily peelable, we decided to cook and juice them, then cook down into a sauce. I ended up with 5 ½# of juice, which I cooked down for about 3 hours and 1 ½# of peeled and seeded tomatoes. Since the dish is really made with a fairly quick cooked chunky marinara, our sauce is a hybrid. I decided to use a Wolfgang Puck recipe as I thought I had the best chance of getting the proportions right since he started with fresh tomatoes. Here’s his original recipe from the Food Network:

Pasta Puttanesca
Makes 2 servings


· 1 ounce olive oil
· 1 tablespoon minced garlic
· 3 anchovy fillets, chopped
· 2 pounds tomatoes, concassed (peeled, seeded, and cut into strips)
· ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
· 6 ounces dry pasta, cooked al dente
· 1 tablespoon capers
· 2 tablespoons Nicoise olives, pitted
· ½ teaspoon fresh minced oregano
· 8 fresh basil leaves, torn into pieces
· 1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley leaves
· Salt and freshly ground black pepper
· Freshly grated Parmesan


In a saute pan, heat the olive oil. Add the garlic and saute 1 minute. Add the anchovy fillets, 1½ pounds of the tomatoes, and red pepper flakes. Bring to a boil and lower to a simmer for 15 minutes.

Add the cooked pasta, remaining 1/2 pound of tomatoes, capers, olives and oregano. Toss to mix and coat pasta with sauce. Turn off heat. Add the basil and parsley. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Divide onto 2 pasta plates and grate fresh Parmesan cheese. Serve immediately.

I used our cooked sauce, at half the recipe amount, for the first tomato addition and concassed tomatoes at the recipe amount for the second tomato addition. Here are the ingredients mixed for each addition to the dish – the oil and garlic are in the pan.

Everything still in the pan.

Here’s my plate after adding some fresh grated Parmigiano Reggiano. I actually added more after taking the picture.

We considered adding some grilled shrimp or chicken to the top, or a side salad but decided on just some garlic cheese toast made in the toaster oven with some jalapeno cheese bread we got from the Mennonite bakery the other day – more about this in a future post. This was my first time for this dish and did I say it was delicious – I ate all of mine and about a third each of Bev’s and Pat’s – for my dessert and salad.

Have a great day and thanks for stopping by.



  1. I adore capers and would love this recipe. My tomatoes are a mess too...darnit. Wilted brown leaves. Lots of tomatoes that I don't know if they'll ripen. I'll probably be buying a half bushel from the farmer's market for my winter cache this year. :-/

  2. All great things in this dish for sure! Anchovies, capers, pasta and those wonderful tomatoes. The colors are great, makes it look very appetizing. And the bread sounds pretty tasty too! Way to go!

  3. Your pasta dish looks great, Larry... Sometimes it's good not to add meat--although I'll admit that that is hard for me. George doesn't think he's had dinner unless some meat is involved... ha ha

    But that bread from the Mennonite bakery would be wonderful...

    Have a great Tuesday. We are STILL waiting for rain and cooler temps... Hasn't happened here yet.

  4. Larry, you know how I love food like this! It looks and sounds delicious - love that it has anchovy filet in it. (that always gives such a great flavor) And Meatless Mondays are very trendy! :)

  5. Looks wonderful! We didn't get many tomatoes down here either. The vines are still trying but the early and continuing heat got the best of them. Plenty of blossom drop. :( Maybe next year.

  6. I have an urge for pasta but not just any pasta, that pasta, in the picture.

    The problem is that it is the middle of the night and I am not cooking.

    Thanks for the recipe.

  7. This looks fantastic Larry! You made a terrific sauce and with those fresh homerown 'maters, I know they rocked!

  8. This pasta dish looks delicious! Great job Larry.

  9. Our tomatoes started out like gangbusters but for the past month have been a bust, like yours.

    But you sure took advantage of the ones you did harvest. This dish looks excellent, Larry, with all of the fresh basil and oregano. I'm craving pasta now!


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