Spaghetti alla Puttanesca
4 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil 3 cloves garlic minced
1 tin of anchovies (2 oz.) 6 ozs. black callamata olives (also
2 tsp. capers (the ones in salt, not vinegar) spelled kalmata) pitted and chopped
4 large fresh tomatoes peeled and 1/3 cup fresh Italian parsley leaves coarsely
coarsely chopped chopped (for garnish)
1/2 tsp. black pepper, freshly ground 1 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)
1 lb. of your favorite pasta or spaghetti
Drain the anchovies and blot with a paper towel. If you desire to lower the amount of salt in the anchovies (this might sound weird, but it works,) place the fillets on a saucer and cover with milk for half an hour. Rinse and pat dry. Chop the anchovy filets to almost a paste or smash with a fork. Rinse the salt from the capers and coarsely chop.
To easily peel the tomatoes, place in a pot large enough to hold the tomatoes covered with water. Remove the tomatoes and bring the water to a boil. Have another large pot or bowl ready with cold water handy to stop the cooking process of the tomatoes. Place the tomatoes into the boiling water for several seconds. Remove with a slotted spoon and place in the cold water the moment you see the skin split. The skins will now be easy to peel and often just slip off. Core and coarsely chop.
Drain and remove the pits from the black callamata olives. Coarsely chop.
Start cooking your pasta to al-dente. Drain when ready.
Meanwhile, place the olive oil in a deep frying pan over medium heat & add the minced garlic. When the garlic is just golden, add the anchovies, stirring until chopped filets dissolve. Add the olives, capers, and tomatoes. Stir well and cook for about 6 to 10 minutes.
Place the cooked pasta in a warmed bowl and add in about half of the puttanesca sauce, tossing well. Pour the remaining sauce over the top and garnish with the chopped parsley leaves. (Optional: sprinkle red pepper flakes on top just before serving.)
This usually doesn’t require any additional salt, but if you wish, add salt and pepper to taste. Cheese is not used or needed with this recipe.
This dish is delicious served either hot or cold, but I prefer it hot.
Recipe by retired Bridgeport Captain and Author Vince Tanner