Robust and flavorful ingredients make Pasta Puttanesca one of my favorites. Not to mention it’s a 30-minutes or less meal.
Absolutely! Anchovies are a cook’s secret weapon because they are rich in glutamate, an amino acid that adds a rich savory flavor to foods. You’ve likely eaten these little fish and not even known it. Worcestershire sauce is made with anchovies, so is traditional Caesar salad dressing. You may not like the texture or the saltiness on a pizza or salad, but cooked in a sauce, they melt into it. Unlike a bigger fish, where you’d see it in the sauce, these nearly disappear. It’s the flavor you’re after, and boy, do they deliver on that! Anchovies have short life spans and reproduce quickly, so are resilient to fishing pressure and remain plentiful. Another benefit is their convenience. Once opened, they can be refrigerated for at least two months if covered with oil and sealed airtight.
As a nutrition educator, I encourage people to eat more fish and seafood (and I’m not talking about fried fish and chips!). But I feel like I’ve hit a brick wall. Seems more than a few people struggle getting fish on their plate.
These little fish have big benefits. Besides being flavor bombs that make your taste buds take notice, they also have heart healthy fats that thin the blood and preventing it from sticking to your artery walls which may help lower the risk for blocked arteries and heart attacks. Fish oils are also good for our mental and emotional health. Populations who eat more fish seem to suffer less depression and mood disorders including seasonal affective disorder.
Why I like this recipe:
- It’s an easy heat-and-eat dinner. Just open a few cans and heat.
- It’s loaded with the delicious flavors of tomatoes, olives, capers and anchovies.
- Everyone likes it. At least when I serve it, no complaints. Ever.
- It’s fun to say. Puttanesca is a derivation of puttana, which means ‘harlot’ in Italian.
- It’s even better the next day. If you’re lucky enough to have leftovers, the flavors mingling overnight pump up the deliciozo factor.
- Prep Time: 5 mins
- Cook Time: 25 mins
- Total Time: 30 minutes
- Yield: 8
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
- 5-6 anchovies
- 3 14.5-ounce cans diced or crushed tomatoes
- 3 tablespoons capers, drained
- 1 16-ounce can pitted whole black olives, drained
- 12-16 ounces cooked pasta – linguini, penne, or spaghetti
- Add olive oil to a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic, oregano, crushed red pepper and anchovies, stir to break up anchovies, cook 2-3 minutes. Add tomatoes and bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 20 minutes. Stir in capers and olives, cook 5 minutes more.
- Serve over cooked pasta
Calling anchovy lovers!
Don’t hide your anchovies, enjoy the flavor and health bennies. Add them to salads and pizzas!
Check out the ingredients my fellow food bloggers are experimenting with. Bet you’ll find something interesting and cool.