I attempted making a Puttanesca sauce last night- something I haven’t done since high school. The first time I tried it I didn’t see the magic in it, and now I know it was probably due to not using anchovies, good olives and fresh herbs. The great thing about this dish is that you can always have the ingredients on hand because most of them are pantry items that don’t spoil. While I think fresh herbs are the key to the flavor, you can use dried if you don’t have fresh ones on hand. This sauce is really fresh tasting, and very perfumey from the briney capers and olives and fresh oregano. Vegetarian note: leave out the anchovies for a vegetarian version.
1 T olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 t red pepper flakes
2 T fresh parsley, finely chopped (or dried)
2 t fresh oregano, finely chopped (or 1 t dried)
1 28 oz can whole peeled plum tomatoes
4 oil-packed anchovies, minced
1 1/2 T capers, rinsed, drained and roughly chopped
20 kalamata olives, roughly chopped
Salt & Pepper to taste
Heat olive oil in large non-stick skillet over medium heat, then add garlic, red pepper, parsley and oregano. Cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the tomatoes and stir, breaking up large chunks. Bring to a simmer and let cook, uncovered, over low heat for about 15 mintues. Add anchovies, capers and olives and stir to combine, and let cook for 5-10 minutes, or until the sauce has thickened. Season wtih salt and pepper.