Puttanesca Please!

So most of you know that my hubby and I have spent the past three years knee deep in the construction and finishing of our home here in the Ozarks.  So needless to say, I have fairly extensive ‘go to’ list for last minute meals.  Pasta is such a quick and easy comfort food after a long day of slinging a hammer or rolling paint and this is why it tops my list.   I have a really hard time throwing an unadulterated jar of pasta sauce over noodles and calling it a meal–which is why I never do!  I have a long list of alterations that will make a quick and easy meal taste like a gourmet treat!   Puttanesca is one of the the dishes that make a pretty regular appearance on the dinner menu at 488.  The sauce has such a nice salty/briny flavor with a hint of sweetness to round it off perfectly on the palate.  I usually start the sauce and then head straight to the shower to get the paint out of my hair!  This gives the sauce about 20-30 minutes to thicken up nicely and let the flavors really come through–the longer you leave it over a low flame, the better it becomes!!!  Serve this with a small green salad, a big chunk of toasted french bread, and a full-bodied red wine or an ice cold pilsner.  This pasta gets even better overnight so you can enjoy a nice big bowl the day after!

Salute!

Puttanesca Please!

Servings:  4-5

  • 1 box or bag Whole wheat spaghetti noodles
  • 1 1/2 jars of Bertolli spaghetti sauce (or YOUR favorite)
  • 2 T chopped garlic
  • 1 t (or more) agave nectar
  • 1-2 t chipotle pepper flakes
  • 1 t dried basil
  • 1 t dried oregano
  • splash of red wine (optional)
  • 1-2 T EVOO
  • 1/2-1 c chopped artichokes
  • 1/4-1/2 c chopped kalamata olives
  • 1/8 c chopped capers
  • freshly grated parmesean (optional garnish)

Heat the EVOO in a large skillet over low.  Add the chipotle pepper flakes and let warm for a minute or two.  Turn the heat up to med-low and add the garlic and cook for 1-2 minutes (do not let it turn brown) and then add the artichokes, olives, capers, wine (optional) and herbs.  Cook for about 5 minutes and then add the sauce and agave nectar.  Let cook for 20-30 minutes, stirring occassionally.  Allow to thicken to your desired consistency.

Meanwhile, fill a big stock pot and heat your water to boil.  Add the pasta and cook 10-12 minutes, until al’ dente.   Drain and set aside.

Fill your bowl with a big scoop of the pasta and cover it with the sauce.  Garnish with dried herbs and/or parmasean.

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