Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Puttanesca and Mice

Lately, I've been feeling the need for salty capers and olives with summer tomatoes. I've had Puttanesca twice this week, and I don't think it will stop there. It's by far one of my favorite quick pasta dishes to throw together. Since my best friend and I cooked some in Baltimore, it brings back wonderful memories, memories of red wine, setting up her fresh new apartment, and a delightful little mouse visitor! We were dining and feeling so proud of our accomplishments, when I looked over at the stove. A tiny mouse had crawled up from the gas eye and was checking out our leftovers. After I began sing-songing, "there's a mouse on the stove, there's a mouse on the stove...," my friend hopped up and shooed him away. Puttanesca will now, forever, remind me of her and that little guy!

Pasta Puttanesca


1/2 Vidalia Onion, Chopped
3 Anchovy Filets
4 Cloves of Garlic, 2 Very Thinly Sliced, 2 Minced
1 Tablespoon of Olive Oil
1 Tablespoon of Capers
8 Black Kalamata Olives, Pits Removed and Chopped
1-1/2 Cups of Tomato Sauce 
3 Tablespoons of Red Wine
1 Teaspoon of Sriracha Sauce, or Red Rooster Sauce
2 Cups of Fusili or Penne
2 Teaspoons of Salt
2 Tablespoons of Grated Parmesan


Put a pot of water on to boil for your pasta. When the water comes to a boil, toss in your salt and cook the pasta according to the time on the package. I often use Trader Joe's organic pasta, which usually takes around 10-11 minutes. Meanwhile, heat your olive oil in a sauce pan on medium-high heat. Toss in your onions, and when they start sizzling, add your anchovy filets. Most people shy away from anchovies, and I'm one of them, except when you use them in a sauce like this. The anchovies will literally melt away and create a nice, dark flavor base for your sauce. Next add in your garlic, then your capers and olives. Once the onions are translucent, pour in your sauce. I like to use an organic spaghetti sauce here, usually a tomato basil version. Reduce the heat to low. Add your red wine and Sriracha sauce. Drain your pasta, but reserve a couple of tablespoons of the water. Add the pasta and reserved water to the sauce pan. Stir together and let the flavors meld for about 5-10 minutes. Serve into your bowls and top with some Parmesan. Enjoy mouse free!

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