Thursday, November 19, 2015

Strozzapreti alla Puttanesca

Strozzapreti alla Puttanesca
Cloudy evenings spitting rain do not predict good evenings at the restaurant and so I left the crew to their devices last evening so I could spend the night with my wife (and despite my absence and lack of reservations, they had a good evening, so what the hell do I know?).

Ann wanted linguine alla puttanesca for dinner, so before I left the restaurant, I gathered a few things, including some strozzapreti, the longest pasta that we have in stock currently.

The Ingredients for my Sugo alla Puttanesca

In addition to the classic ingredients for sugo alla puttanesca (tomatoes, olives, capers, garlic), I also grabbed some artichoke hearts and a couple roasted red peppers. They're certainly non-traditional, but they work perfectly in this dish. Because fish sauce is so easy to buy and store and use, I no longer keep anchovies in the refrigerator. No more deboning the nasty little fishies! And rather than use crushed pepper flakes for heat, I used fresh sambal oelek. A big handful of fresh basil really helps this dish sing. I sliver my garlic (about 5 slices per clove) and then cook the garlic in olive oil until just starting to brown. At this point, I go ahead and make the sauce. I just think it is really important to let the garlic cook in the oil and not rush it to infuse it really well. The sauce doesn't need cooking so much as it just wants to be heated through.

There is no wonder that this is a classic pasta dish: it is so flavorful and so delicious. And it is no wonder that for the past fifteen years, a dumbed down version of this pasta has featured on the restaurant's lunch menu. What's not to love?

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