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Pass the Pasta Puttanesca, please

April 23, 2013

Sometimes learning a new recipe is a 'monkey see, monkey do' experience for me. I watch a celebrity chef making something on a cooking show, and I instantly want to try it myself, just to see what it tastes like or to test a claim made about the dish by the chef.

In this case, I came across an old episode of Nigella's Kitchen on Food Network Canada where she was making Pasta alla Puttanesca or Slut's Spaghetti, as she calls it, using Puttanesca's literal translation with great effect. As she cooked, she sultrily murmured things like "So easy and quick" and "Made with things from your own pantry"  throughout the cooking process.

Of course I was seduced, and rose from the couch in a Nigella-induced cooking trance, determined to make my own Pasta alla Puttanesca for dinner.

Notes on ingredients: I used a 28 oz can of whole tomatoes, twice the amount called for in Nigella's recipe and I really liked the balance of flavours and amount of sauce.

Also, Nigella sometimes forgets that our lowly home cupboard & fridge supplies may differ from her epic pantry (which I would happily live in) - specifically with a recipe calling for anchovy fillets packed in oil and capers. Luckily, I've been learning how to make old-school Caesar dressing recently, and I did have a bottle of anchovies on hand. I also found a bottle of somewhat suspect capers in the back of my fridge, but couldn't remember where or when I bought them, so gave them a miss. I suppose it's a lesson for me to start classing up my pantry a bit with more tasty options ready for random recipes.

For making this for the very first time, I was thrilled with the results that appeared after a mere 20 minutes of easy, half-assed cooking. The sauce was the perfect combination of spicy and salty - not fishy, as the uninitiated to anchovies might fear, just a mouth-watering umami flavour with a tomato-y tang and pops of olive here and there. Nigella doesn't add Parmesan to hers, but I did and feel it elevated the pasta one last step to perfection.

I'll be making this again soon... and repeatedly.

 

Nigella's Slut's Spaghetti (Pasta alla Puttanesca)

As featured on Nigella's Kitchen on the Food Network and in her cookbook, Nigella's Kitchen

 Ingredients

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Its a very nice recipe. I test it one time really testy food. Thanks for this recipe



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