Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Naughty girls need food too!

I believe I live to eat rather than eat to live.I encounter food ideas in things I read, lessons I teach about geography and history, in TV shows I watch and more. Most things spark my curiosity , compel me to find the ingredients and then learn how to cook it. Three meals a day, seven days a week and so many ideas leave no room to waste time on bad or uninteresting food !  There are dishes I want to make because the flavor contributions sound so interesting, those that strike me as a kind of magic because of the transformation and then those that appeal because of their history. The following dish is one of those. Pasta Puttanesca is it's name, and the story behind it is interesting to say the least.

Translated to English it means "Whore's Pasta", and there is some debate about the exact reasons that it came to be. Some have said it was created because all of the ingredients could be stored on the shelf so that the ladies could make a fast meal between clients without having to go to the market. Others have said that the Ladies of the Evening  were only allowed into the markets for a few hours on certain days of the week, so they had to stock up foods till their next market trip. I have third theory- when they made money they stocked up these things so that they had food to eat if they fell our of favor with the local gents. No matter what the reason, this pasta is quick to fix, can be complete pantry items ( use canned tomatoes instead of fresh) and very delicious ! As to the anchovy's, this was the first time I ever tasted them and I found them to be like salty, oil packed tuna and not the horror story many like to paint them as. They decompose into the sauce and all you are left with is flavor that melds beautifully with the other strong flavor. There are literally a million versions of this recipe, and here is mine inspired by David Rocco


1 lb penne rigate ( penne with ridges)
1 pint cherry tomatoes, chopped
1 can anchovy fillets, roughly chopped
1 tablespoon capers
1 small can sliced black olives
1 cup walnuts, roughly chopped
1 head garlic, de germed and sliced thin
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup dried parsley
salt and chili pepper (fresh or dried) to season

In a large pot, boil water for pasta. In a saucepan pour olive oil and saute till garlic is golden.
Add anchovies and walnuts- cook for a minute. Add tomatoes, cover and let cook 5 minutes.Add the olives, capers and red pepper- ook till pasta is about a minute before the al dente stage. Place pasta in the saucepan with a little pasta water and let cook till pasta is al dente. Sprinkle with parsley and serve.

1 comment:

getting_fit_in_the_city said...

Yum, I used to make something like this no anchovies though and I did not add olives. I think this would be interesting to try, Thanks!