Easy Peasy Puttanesca

IMG_1053Redefine what you think of as traditional Italian food with this winter pasta staple! Spicy, salty, and unique, this pasta dish will leave you warm and happy, even if it’s negative degrees outside with the wind chill. Plus, with a prep time of only about 40 minutes and enough pasta per batch to have leftovers, this dish is the perfect dinner for any time-starved college student.

What You’ll Need:

2 Medium Sauce Pans
1 Clove Garlic
1 Can Peeled Tomatoes
1 Small Handful of Capers
1 Large Handful of Kalamata Olives
2 Anchovies
1 Tsp. Dried Oregano
Pinch Crushed Red Pepper Flakes (or according to your spice preference)
Olive Oil
1 Handful Chopped Fresh Parsley (optional for garnish)
1 Box Spaghetti Pasta
Pinch Salt

Directions:

1. Begin by removing 2 anchovies from the jar, and placing them in a cup of water to soak for 10 minutes, to remove some of the oil.

2. Pre-chop: halve the handful of kalamata olives and chop the anchovies into smaller pieces after they have soaked for 10 minutes. Set aside.

3. Mince the garlic clove, then put about 2-3 tbs. of olive oil in the bottom of one of the sauce pans, add the garlic, and put on low heat.

4. Once the garlic becomes fragrant—and this happens quickly so be sure to stay near the pot!—add the kalamata olives.

5. Let simmer for 1 minute, then add the anchovies.

6. Let the olives, anchovies and garlic simmer for about a minute, then add the small handful of capers. Let simmer for 2 minutes, then remove from heat.

7. Open the can of tomatoes and remove the individual tomatoes by hand. Dice them into medium-sized chunks.

8. Add the tomatoes to the pan, and put back on heat.

9. Add oregano and as much red pepper as you prefer.

10. Let simmer for 25 minutes, or until tomatoes have lost their structure and the sauce is smooth without too many large chunks.

11. While the sauce is cooking, add water to the second sauce pan and set to high heat.

12. Once the water is close to boiling, add a dash of salt.

13. Add the box of pasta to the boiling water, and let it cook until al dente—you can taste test the pasta to see if it’s cooked enough.

14. After draining the cooked pasta, place in a large bowl and mix in the puttanesca sauce.

15. Roughly chop the fresh parsley and add to the pasta, if desired.

Photo by Corinne Fierro