If you like it, save it!
Save and organize all of the stuff you love in one place.Got it!
If you like something…
Click the heart, it's called favoriting. Favorite the stuff you like.Got it!
Author Notes: Puttanesca has been my all-time favorite pasta sauce since I tasted it for the first time as a teenager. (I believe it was at Avellino's in Fairfield, CT.) I've tried several variations over the years, and this one is truest to the flavor and texture I remember from that first time. I realize that my approach is a little unorthodox--most puttanesca recipes call for the anchovies, garlic, and red pepper flakes to be sauteed in oil at the start of cooking. I prefer to start with a base of hot pepper, oregano, and capers, then add garlic. The aroma is absolutely intoxicating. The anchovy fillets, meanwhile, are mashed to a paste, whipped with softened butter, and added toward the end of cooking, right before tossing the sauce with pasta. As for the pasta itself, I use spaghetti (it all comes back to that memory), but other shapes, like penne, are just fine. The recipe calls for a pound, but you can get away with half a pound if you like your pasta really saucy. —Bogre
- 6-8 anchovy fillets, mashed to a paste
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes, or to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano (Turkish/Mediterranean variety)
- 1/4 cup capers in brine or vinegar (not rinsed), plus a little of the brine
- 4-8 garlic cloves, minced (how much is a matter of taste)
- 1 28-oz can crushed tomatoes (preferably San Marzano)
- 1/4 cup kalamata olives, pitted and sliced
- 1 pound dried spaghetti
- 2 tablespoons basil chiffonade (optional)
- salt and pepper, to taste
- Bring a large pot of well-salted water to a rolling boil. Whip anchovy paste with softened butter and set aside.
- Heat olive oil in a skillet or saute pan over medium-low. When the oil shimmers, add pepper flakes and oregano. When they begin to sizzle, add capers and a splash of caper brine. (A cover or splatter screen might come in handy here.) Saute for a couple of minutes, delighting in the heady aroma of fried capers now filling your kitchen/apartment/household. Add garlic and a pinch of salt, stir well, and continue to saute, stirring to make sure the garlic doesn't burn, until golden and soft, a couple of minutes. Stir in the tomatoes and olives, reduce to a simmer, and cover partially. Simmer about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Begin cooking the pasta once you have added the tomatoes and olives to the sauce. Cook until just al dente, 8 or 9 minutes. When the pasta has about 3 minutes left, stir the anchovy-butter mixture into the sauce and continue to simmer. Drain pasta, reserving 1/2-1 cup cooking water. Toss pasta with sauce and a little of the water. Season to taste with salt, pepper, and basil, if using.
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Spicy Recipe
A Zucchini Spaghetti to Fawn Over
A fried and fabulous classic
The zucchini spaghetti of Italy.
Just for the halibut.
Recipe of the Day
Savor the season.
This pasta's mint to be.