Thursday, July 11, 2013

Chunky Tomato Puttanesca

This was the first thing my husband cooked for me, his version taken out of the Rachel Ray cookbook, had shrimp and a bit more kick to it. Puttanesca is one of my favorite sauces, its super salty and a little bit tangy because of the anchovies and capers. Don't let that scare you away, anchovies are not at all fishy or overpowering, they offer a nice, subtle nuttiness and saltiness to the dish. The capers are a fresh burst of tang each time you bite into them and they go so well with the fresh tomatoes and my home grown herbs. The sauce comes together in about 15 minutes and is a great, fresh, super easy weeknight meal all summer long. If you are making this dish when tomatoes are not in season I recommend using canned, I don't buy or use fresh tomatoes in the winter unless they are grown hydroponically. They just don't have the flavor you need and are so watery. You will have to peel the skins from the tomatoes because they separate during the cooking process and are unappetizing and bitter. I just cut an x in the bottom of each tomato, boil them for about 2 minutes, let them cool and the skin comes right off. This sauce is super chunky, loaded with spring onions that are slightly sweet, the fresh tomatoes, fresh garlic and lots of oregano and basil. I just love sauces like this where you can see all the ingredients, its so satisfying and beautiful.

This recipe serves 4


1/4 Cup extra virgin olive oil
5 Organic spring onions, purple scallions or shallots, any of these will work you just want a sweet, young onion that is not sharp, sliced thinly.
4 Organic garlic cloves, minced.
5 Organic tomatoes, fresh, I used on the vine but any that look gorgeous will do.
1 Sprig fresh organic oregano, leaves only, roughly torn.
1/3 Cup fresh organic basil, leaves only, roughly torn.
3 Tbsp capers
2 Tbsp caper juice
2 Tbsp anchovy paste or 4 anchovy fillets.
1 tsp Red pepper flakes
Sea salt & fresh ground pepper, to taste.
1 lb your favorite pasta, I used an organic, semolina fussili because the chunky sauce clings to it nicely.
Parmesan cheese to sprinkle over top, optional.


Bring a large pot of water to a boil, cut an x in the bottom of each tomato. Boil for 2 minutes and remove to a bowl. Once they have cooled enough to work with, peel off the skins and discard them. Add more water to the pot and bring back to a boil, salt and cook pasta based on box directions.

In a deep saute pan, over medium heat put in the olive oil. Once it is hot melt the anchovy paste till it smells nutty, about 2 minutes. Add in the onions, garlic and some salt and pepper. Cook till the onions are translucent, about 5 minutes. Squeeze the tomatoes over the pot with your hands, breaking them up and discarding the hard stem in the middle, you will feel it. With a wooden spoon break up the tomatoes a bit. Cook for 5 to 6 minutes, or until the tomato softens and it starts to look thick like a sauce. Add in the basil, oregano, red pepper flakes, capers and caper juice. Cook for another 2 minutes to reduce. Add in about 1/4 cup of pasta water, drain pasta and pour the pasta into the pan with the sauce. Cook for one minute to coat the pasta and remove from heat.

Serve topped with parmesan cheese, additional fresh basil and enjoy!

No comments:

Post a Comment