Make Ahead

Summertime PotluckĀ Puttanesca

June 19, 2013
3 Ratings
Photo by Chris Hagan
  • Serves 6 to 8
Author Notes

This is an ideal informal party dish: it's a snap to prepare, it requires almost no cooking, it's easily scalable, and it can be eaten hot or cold (although in warmer weather especially, it is, like revenge, best served at a lower temperature). It's got festive colors (yellow squash, green broccoli, red tomatoes, black olives), it's incredibly flavorful (especially if given time to sit), and, despite the name, it's actually a vegan dish since no anchovies are used. Use gluten-free pasta if you want to cover all your potential dietarily-restricted bases. —Chris Hagan

Test Kitchen Notes

A bowl of pasta cannot get more summery than this dish, and we quite liked it. The list of ingredients and the quantities work nicely, and I did not have to do any adjusting (except for throwing in a couple of more olives). As Bogre recommended, I prepared the dish two hours before the dinner, and it worked perfectly. Making a bowl of pasta way before the dinner and being able to relax until friends arrived -- that was priceless! As an additional bonus, the dish was equally tasty, crunchy, and refreshing the day later, as a cold pasta salad. —QueenSashy

What You'll Need
  • 2 handfuls broccoli florets
  • 1 pound tubular pasta, such as campanelle or penne
  • 2 medium summer squash, preferably yellow, trimmed, halved lengthwise and sliced very thinly crosswise
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced (remove any green shoots first)
  • about 1/4 cups basil chiffonade (a moderate handful: 10 or so large leaves)
  • 1 teaspoon hot pepper flakes, or to taste
  • 20 kalamata olives, pitted and sliced
  • 1/4 cup capers, drained and rinsed
  • Lemon juice to taste (start with half a lemon and adjust from there)
  • 1 28-ounce can good quality crushed tomatoes (like San Marzano)
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  1. Bring a large pot of well-salted water to a boil (it should be so salty that it tastes like sea water). Have a large bowl of ice water ready, as well. Blanch the broccoli florets for 2 minutes, then remove them with a spider or slotted spoon and shock them in ice water. Drain and set aside. Cook the pasta until al dente in the same water used to blanch the broccoli.
  2. While the pasta is cooking, combine the broccoli florets and all the remaining ingredients in a large bowl. Drain the pasta and add it to the bowl. Adjust for salt, pepper, lemon juice, and hot pepper. The dish is equally good warm or cold, but I'd recommend allowing it to sit for at least an hour or, if planning ahead, let it sit overnight to extract the maximum flavor potential.

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