October 17, 2006
Almost everyone I know, with the exception of a few who still continue to have the amazing willpower to stick to a low carb diet, love pasta. There are numerous outstanding pasta recipes out there, but in my personal opinion and taste, I would readily include pasta puttanesca ( click on the link to read more about the interesting history and story behind it's name ) in my list of unforgettable classic pasta dishes. In this small area where we reside, there are many Italian restaurants serving very good authentic Italian food and all seem to be doing good business, proving the popularity of the cuisine. Watching an episode of Emeril Live the other night reminded me of how good this light meatless pasta dish is. Lots of minced garlic and red roma tomatoes sauteed in extra virgin olive oil with the flavors of black olives and capers were simmered together. Fresh chopped parsley or basil leaves were added last. I've made this with or without anchovies and I must say it's not a big issue. Any kind of pasta works, from angel hair to fettucine to penne. I guess it's all a matter of personal tastes and preferences. The sauce may be made ahead, even a day ahead, which is another thing I like about it, then reheated before tossing with fresh pasta and freshly grated parmesan cheese. The addition of thick tomato paste was an excellent tip I learned from Emeril to give the sauce a richer texture and flavor. Served with some buttered garlic bread slices, pasta puttanesca makes a hearty and satisfying meal.