Pasta Puttanesca

I’ve heard some very interesting stories about this Italian dish. The name literally translates to, “Whore Style Spaghetti”. One story is that the ingredients were so cheap, it was a staple for Italian night walkers. Another is that prostitutes would make this pungently aromatic, spicy dish and place it on their window sill to draw in men. Whatever story is true, the dish is truly alluring.

I’ve wanted to try my hand at Pasta Puttanesca since I first saw A Series of Unfortunate Events. It’s extremely inexpensive, and utterly fool proof. There is a basic recipe here, but the point is that you put in what you have or what you feel like. My ingredients vary a tad from the basic recipe, but it’s mighty fine.

Puttanesca 1

| Pasta Puttanesca

Serves 2

1 TBS olive oil

1/2 TBS minced garlic

1 TSP red pepper flakes

1 – 16 oz can of diced tomatoes in juice

2-3 TBS chopped sun-dried tomatoes

2 TBS capers

1/4 C kalamata olives, roughly chopped

a dash of salt

2 servings spaghetti, cooked

Puttanesca 4

Saute garlic, crushed red chili flakes and capers in olive oil on medium heat for about 3 minutes. Pour in the can of tomatoes and add the rest of the ingredients plus a couple tablespoons of water. Cover, reduce heat to medium-low and let simmer for 7-10 minutes, stirring occasionally. When the sauce reduces a little, add in cooked spaghetti and stir well to incorporate.

Puttanesca 2

Serve and enjoy!

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The Saucy Noodle!

Last night, I really wanted to use the squash that has been sitting on the counter all weekend, but couldn’t figure out what to make with it – I didn’t want to do the vapid, old sauteed number – and when I finally figured out the perfect dish to create, {which will be a surprise for later :)} I came to the conclusion that we simply didn’t have all the right components. Boo.

So, I was at a loss as to what I should do for dinner, and then my husband called me. He always saves the day that way, you see. He told me, “Don’t stress over it, we’ll go out.” Sometimes those words are music to my ears. Also, dining out helps me to come up with new concepts for meals.

We couldn’t really figure out what we wanted, but I knew I had been craving tomatoes, as you can tell from my preceding entry {whenever I have a craving, I always have to look up what my body is telling me I need. In this case, it happens to be iron – we already knew I was anemic, I just thought it peculiar how this craving came out of the blue}.

And then red sauce all of the sudden sounded delish, so Italian it was – no one could ever say no to Italian, am I right?

We are new to the neighborhood, so I asked my friend where the best Italian joint might be around here {let’s face it, Olive Garden just wasn’t going to do}. She offered the Saucy Noodle, located in South Denver, so off we went {did I mention it got 4 1/2 stars from OpenTable.com?}!

When we arrived, AJ asked for Mac n’ Cheese, but whenever we go out, I try to have them eat something new, so they both decided on buttered rigatoni – not that it differs too far from the American version of the dish that he had wanted, but at least I had them come out of their box with food. Even if just a little.

Then, Jason ordered Rigatoni All’Arrabbiata {translate: Angry Rigatoni, which this explains is “due to the heat of the chili peppers”}, and I got Chicken Cacciatore, an Italian chicken dish that sits in a tomato, garlic, and root vegetable stew – all day. You can just imagine how good it is. On the side were cannellini beans in this amazing tomato and garlic sauce. I love my garlic. And, of course, a glass of a California Red blend – we were, after all, at an Italian restaurant ;). I’m not going to post the nutrition facts, because that would simply be too perplexing to try to estimate, and I don’t  want to steer you wrong. I do know, however, that my choice was by far probably one of the healthiest on the menu, due to it’s lack in pasta and cheese. If you haven’t been to the Saucy Noodle, I would highly recommend it – and I would also highly recommend the Chicken Cacciatore.

My Delicious Chicken Cacciatore Dinner

Enjoy!