Thursday, 23 June 2011

Dunc's Puttanesca

My beloved can cook. I mean, he can really cook. Delicious food. I feel bad for hogging the kitchen so much. Below is his quick, easy, uber-tasty recipe for a classic Puttanesca.

(Puttanesca translates from the Italian as “in the style of the whore.” Nice, huh? Napolese harlots were characterized as the sirens of the culinary world and the legend goes that the intense aroma of the Puttanesca would lure men from the street into the local house of ill repute. Well, frankly, it would lure me to a local house of ill repute! It smells delicious!)


Puttanesca is a controversial dish. Everyone has their own recipe and they vary wildly. This is a variation of his sister’s recipe. It’s really quick and tasty and he always makes sure we have the basic ingredients in the cupboard for it. Some may be put off by the ingredients (anchovies, capers, olives) but don’t be – it doesn’t taste particularly fishy. It's sharp and salty and delicious.
To serve 2/3:

1 can of anchovies
2-3 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp dried chilli flakes
2 cloves of garlic, minced
Handful of chopped black olives
1-1.5 tbsp of capers
1 can of chopped tomatoes (or passata is probably more authentic)
Spaghetti (approx 250/300g)
Big handful of fresh parsley
Parmesan, grated

Put the spaghetti on to cook in well salted water. The sauce takes about as long to make as it does for the pasta to cook.

Dissolve the anchovies in the olive oil over a medium high heat. Add dried chilli flakes, capers and chopped black olives. Add the tomatoes/passata and stir through. Allow to cook down for 5 mins.

Check your pasta regularly - the trick here is to drain the pasta just before it is fully cooked. Let's call it pre-aldente. Seriously, this dish doesn't work with mushy spaghetti. Add your almost cooked pasta it to the sauce and let it finish cooking in the sauce for 1-2 mins. Chuck in some chopped fresh parsley and serve topped with black pepper and parmesan.

Best when served to you by someone you love.

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