Last weekend, my husband and I descended the long and boring road known as I-16 from the outskirts of Atlanta into the heart of Savannah, GA. There's a little shop there, tucked in the corner of the Publix shopping center (dangerously close to a Starbucks) called Kitchenware Outfitters. We could spend hours in there (and thousands of dollars) perusing the shelves of marvelous, culinary gadgets and inspirations. In my aimless ramblings, I stumbled across a packet of dehydrated veggies and herbs which claimed to make a puttanesca pasta sauce. I'd heard of puttanesca, but I had never tried it. As it was my birthday weekend, I plopped down my debit card and brought the little package home. It was rather cute; plastic bag, label printed in Italy, little ribbon in the colors of the Italian flag. Last night we decided to brave the puttanesca and discover for ourselves this strange combination of olives, capers, anchovies and herbs.
Per the instructions, the dehydrated veggies and herbs were put in a sauce pan with a cup of water and were allowed to simmer. When the water evaporated, we added several tablespoons of olive oil and sauteed the little guys for a few minutes more. It was then time to add a 24 oz. can of crushed tomatoes. Sure I would have loved to have picked the tomatoes fresh and crushed them myself, but I don't have a garden at the present moment so the can had to suffice. The sauce simmered merrily on the stove top and the smells were tantalizing. I'd never smelled a sauce quite like it before.
Though the recipe said puttanesca is traditionally served over linguine, we prepared a box of bow tie pasta. I like bow ties. They have the perfect nooks and crannies to hang on to sauce and cheese that would otherwise slide off a long, skinny noodle.
After a heavy application of Parmesan cheese (I'm kind of an addict), we settled down to enjoy our creation. O. My. Goodness. It was amazing! Way better than the sauce you buy in a bottle at the grocer's. I wanted to eat more, but my tummy was begging me to stop. To eat more would have been over kill. I'm very glad I didn't have seconds; I get it for lunch today :)
I found a recipe for fresh puttanesca (ours had some onions and green peppers which are not included in this recipe). I can't WAIT to try my hand at fresh veggies, herbs, and those strange little creatures called capers and anchovies. O, and when I do, I will most definitely crush my own tomatoes...
If you happen to try this recipe (or if you've had puttanesca before), let me know what you think! I'm such a foodie. I LOVE to try new foods and I adore hearing food stories.
Have a great weekend, and by all means, try a new dish! Try several. And don't forget to pop the cork of a favorite wine to go along with it. (Which, come to think of it, makes a grand idea for another post :)