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This southern Italian pasta sauce, with its warm, spicy, robust flavor, conjures up the warmth of the Mediterranean. In Italian fokelore, it was served by 'the ladies of the night' to seduce their gentlemen friends into their arms! There are many recipes for Puttanesca sauce. This is my favourite. Do not be put off by the amount of anchovies. My 20 year old son, who refuses to eat pizza with anchovies (because he detests them!), loves this dish. Buon appetito!
- 1⁄2 cup cold-pressed virgin olive oil
- 1 large red bell pepper, seeded and roughly chopped
- 1 fresh chili pepper, seeded and finely chopped (or 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes - more or less, to taste)
- 2 -4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 3 ounces flat anchovy fillets, drained and pounded in mortar and pestle (canned in oil)
- 2 -3 fresh ripe roma tomatoes, peeled,seeded,and roughly chopped (Italian plum)
- 1⁄2 cup sun-dried tomato packed in oil, drained and chopped
- 1⁄2 cup sliced seeded black olives (Kalamata olives are ideal)
- 2 tablespoons capers
- 1⁄4 cup finely chopped parsley
- fresh ground black pepper
- 1 lb freshly cooked spaghetti (I like spaghettini)
- parmigiano-reggiano cheese, freshly grated
- Heat olive oil over a low to moderate flame.
- Gently saute red pepper, chile, and garlic in the olive oil for five minutes.
- Add pounded anchovies to pan with both the fresh and sun-dried tomatoes and saute a few minutes until anchovies melt.
- Add olives and capers, and stir gently until heated through.
- When done, add parsley, and gently mix through sauce.
- Season with a few grinds of black pepper.
- Do not add salt!
- Toss immediately with hot, freshly cooked spaghetti, pass the Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, and serve with a fresh green salad (and a good Coonawarra red!).