Sunday, December 14, 2008

Slutty spaghetti

I'm exceptionally dull when visiting regular Italian restaurants. Generally I don't need to bother looking at the menu. If I'm in the mood for pasta, then I pretty much always order one of three things. All of them are tomato-based. All of them I can make easily at home myself. Yet still I hear them calling.

A particular favourite is pasta puttanesca. Named after the 'ladies of the night' it is packed with punchy, gutsy flavours. Anchovies, capers, olives, chilli, garlic; subtle this is not!

Whilst I frequently order pasta puttanesca, until recently I have never thought to re-create it at home. I don't know why as it is super simple. I was inspired to give it a go having drooled for months over
the dish over at Dinner Diary. It is clearly a favourite for Fred and Ginger!

I followed their advice and headed towards
Delia for inspiration. I followed her recipe fairly closely so don't intend to repeat the recipe here. All that I will say is that I have since made this favourite flavoursome pasta dish three times.

The curious thing about pasta puttanesca is that when made well, it tastes almost meaty. Those anchovies permeate the dish giving a wonderful savoury edge that balances nicely with the sweetness of the tomatoes.

I have twice added finely chopped onions (finely chopped and sweated at the start along with garlic) and I also used fresh oregano once when I ran out of fresh basil. It was different, but still good!


Wendy said...

Puttanesca is one of my favourite pasta sauces too. The version I usually make is similar to Delia's (blogged about it earlier in the year) but I'm also very fond of Jamie Oliver's version which has tuna and wine and lemon and basil in it. It's VERY different to normal puttanesca but amazingly tasty.

Frequent Traveler said...

That pasta sounds delicious, Antonia !

Of all the foods, spaghetti warms my soul :)

Hope you had a good weekend, and have a lovely week ahead leading up to Christmas.

Loving Annie

Anonymous said...

Mmmm, it certainly is one of our favourites. It's funny because I love pasta and, like you, particularly tomato based sauces yet I only tried this for the first time earlier in the year. I've certainly made up for lost time since then!

Sam said...

A friend cooked this for me a few months back and it's been a favourite of mine ever since, so simple yet so tasty, I love it.

Peter M said...

You know what? If they changed the name on the menu to "slutty", it would increase the orders ten-fold!

Your dish looks yum and only some garlic bread, checkered table cloth and Chianti would be needed.

Abitofafoodie said...

Wendy - that Jamie Oliver version sounds great too. I should give it a try.

Annie - thank you! I hope you do too.

Ginger - I'm concerned that it has turned into a bit of an addiction actually - I just can't stop eating it.

Sam - it realy is delicious.

Peter -you are absolutely right. Garlic bread would be just perfect.

Crissy said...

Mmmm, pasta ... :)