Recipe by Lane
Top Review by Weber Guy
Spent three years eating my way through Naples, Italy, so I'm a quasi pasta snob--not in a bad way, just spoiled by knowing how the natives whup up a pot of pasta and sauce and how so much texture and flavor often gets lost in translation on this side of Mare Atlantico (Mi scusi, my Italian isn't what it used to be). We used to go frequently to a small restaurant outside of Naples where we were as frequently treated to the owner's own pot of puttanesca or marinara, homemade wine and that awesome, crusty, rustic bread, almost leathery on the outside and soft and lucsious on the inside, so perfect for sopping up every last bit of sauce. Our Italian friends laughed the first time I did that. Scarpetta, they called it, (Which I recall roughly translated means to scrape the shoe.) Only later did I learn that this is fairly decent compliment to the cook. Okay, basta. Enough already. This recipe is that primo scarpetta moment all over again. Simple preparation and awesome flavor. We modified it as follows, to make up for an understocked pantry. Serendipitous for us as the plate, we agreed, was a dead ringer for so many of those meals we enjoyed with our Italian hosts that have really set the standard for our expectation of what pasta and sauce should be. Used: Kalamata olives vice oil cured. Concentrated crushed tomatoes vice chunky style Anchovy paste vice canned Tbl of dried parsley vice fresh. (I stubbornly almost left the parsley out entirely since I couldn't find fresh flat leaf.) If you can find it, try this meal with a bottle of Marchesini Montepulciano D'Abruzzo. This is one of the only times I'll recommend a specific wine, but this wine is simple and sumptuous and incredibly inexpensive. I came across it in an article on decent cheap wines in the Atlanta Constitution a few years ago. Made a note of it and keep it in my PDA.
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, 2 turns around the pan
- 4 -6 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 can flat anchovy fillet, drained
- 1⁄2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 20 oil-cured black olives, cracked away from pit and coarsely chopped
- 3 tablespoons capers, cracked
- 1 (32 ounce) canchunky style crushed tomatoes
- 1 (14 1/2 ounce) can diced tomatoes, drained
- a few grinds black pepper
- 1⁄4 cup flat leaf parsley, a couple of handfuls,chopped
- 1 lb spaghetti, cooked to al dente (with a bite)
- crusty bread, for mopping
- grated parmigiano-reggiano cheese or romano cheese, for passing,optional
Directions See How It's Made
- Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add oil, garlic, anchovies, and crushed pepper.
- Saute mixture until anchovies melt into oil and completely dissolve and garlic is tender, about 3 minutes: your kitchen never smelled so good!
- Add olives, capers, tomatoes, black pepper, and parsley.
- Bring sauce to a bubble, reduce heat, and simmer 8 to 10 minutes.
- Toss sauce with cooked pasta.
- Pass bread and cheese at the table and serve with a simple salad of mixed bitter greens dressed with oil and vinegar, salt, and pepper.
- Cook's Note: Get your olives from the bulk bins in the market, rather than buying a jar.
- The unit price is always much less per pound and you can get just what you need for each recipe.