I love Italian food so it wasn’t a surprise when I was craving it the other day. Mmm, carbs. Sorry, I got distracted. 😉 I didn’t have the time to make my Marinara Sauce so I decided to try a quicker recipe. In fact, I tried a completely different kind of sauce. Little did I know that I’d be taking a trip down memory lane when I decided to make this pasta dish. I’ll explain.
The pasta is coated with an Italian puttanesca sauce, a light tomato based sauce full of fresh tomatoes, olive oil, garlic, olives, and capers.
Pasta Puttanesca Recipe
(About 6 servings)
- 1 pound of pasta (I used mezze penne)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic, lightly smashed and peeled
- 1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes with basil
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup pitted black olives
- 2 tablespoons capers
- 1/2 cup grape tomatoes, roughly chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- fresh basil leaves, for garnish
- Cook the pasta according to the directions on the box. Drain and set it aside.
- In a medium skillet, on Medium heat, heat the oil and cook the garlic until it’s lightly browned.
- Add the crushed tomatoes, pepper, and salt and cook it for about 10 minutes to thicken up.
- Reduce the heat to Simmer/Low and stir in the olives, capers, chopped grape tomatoes, and red pepper flakes. Continue to it cook for a few minutes.
- Toss the pasta in the sauce and garnish with fresh basil. (* See note below)
Store in an air tight container in the refrigerator.
* Note: The sauce will soak into the pasta overnight. If you don’t think you’ll eat all of the pasta then I recommend you store the sauce in a separate jar in the refrigerator and wait to add it to the pasta until you are ready to eat it.
My sister and I took an eleven day tour of Italy back in 2009 and we had a fabulous time. If I close my eyes I feel like I’m sitting in a piazza surrounded by fun shops and cafes that fill the streets with wonderful aromas of Italian cuisine.
Many days we’d grab a quick pizza and gelato for lunch. We had one rule on our trip and that was to have gelato every single day. 🙂 (We stuck to that rule and Italy made it very easy to stick to!)
Most of our dinners began with a lovely pasta appetizer, similar to this pasta puttanesca dish. This sauce is light and fresh, perfect as a starter meal or as an entree. Also, it’s tangy with a little bit of heat to it.
I love the simplicity of this sauce. A delicious sauce doesn’t need a lot of ingredients or a lot of time to make. I made this meal in less than 30 minutes! Some people add anchovies to their puttanesca sauce, but capers are a common substitute. They add great flavor to this pasta dish.
How about some Italian music in the background of my kitchen? Maybe some good old Frank Sinatra? Most of the restaurants that my sister and I visited in Italy had live entertainment. In fact it was common that the entertainers were selling their music CDs at the end of the night.
Isn’t it funny how food can spark a memory? All this reminiscing makes me want to return to beautiful Italy.
Adapted from: The NY Times
Here are some other delicious Italian meals.