This is one of those dishes that come in handy when you come home from work and you have no idea what to cook. You look in your pantry and refrigerator, and with a few simple ingredients (which you should have in your pantry or refrigerator), you can whip up this quick, flavoursome, satisfying meal.
You could say why not eat out, well because there is 5 of us in my family and eating out in a restaurant usually costs between $100-$150. Just getting chicken and chips costs around $50, this costs about $10.
But it isn't just about the money, the flavours of this pasta dish are really nice, we love it, and it is nice to have a meat free dish that leaves you not missing the meat.
Originally I tried it for its name-Spaghetti Puttanesca translates as 'whore's pasta'. Not sure why, but I read it is because the ingredients are not fresh, all pantry items, and therefore it was quick to whip up between jobs. Now my kids get a kick out of the name, they love to call it prostitutes pasta.
I usually make it with spaghetti, but it works with linguine also. But if this is on the menu, I cook it with whatever I have in the pantry.
If you have some bread in the house, I sometimes blitz that up in a food procesor, fry the crumbs in some olive oil, season with a little salt and sprinkle on the pasta instead of the parmesan. Adds crunch and it is delicious.
Anyway I love it, I love its simplicity, I love its flavour. Try it for the flavour, try it for the name, whatever reason you choose, you should just try it.
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 cloves garlic, crushed
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1/4-1/2 teaspoon chilli flakes or powder
2 x 425g can diced tomatoes
1 tablespoon capers
3 anchovy fillets, chopped
1/4 cup black olives
Black pepper, to taste
Add spaghetti to a large pan of boiling salted water. Cook until just tender, reserve 1/2 cup of the pasta water, drain the rest immediately. Return pasta to the pan.
While the pasta is cooking, heat the oil in a heavy based frying pan over medium heat. Add the garlic, parsley and chilli flakes, cook, stirring for 1 minute.
Add the undrained tomatoes, stir to combine. Reduce the heat, simmer, covered, for 5 minutes.
Add the capers, anchovies and olives. cook, stirring for 5 minutes. Add the black pepper, stir.
Add the pasta to the sauce, toss gently until evenly distributed. Add the reserved pasta water if you feel the sauce looks dry. Taste for seasoning.
Serve immediately, with grated parmesan cheese. Drizzle with some extra virgin olive oil if you feel like an extra burst of flavour.
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