When we first started this column in 2007, we had a lot of pasta recipes. We had so many that we tried to branch out into new things. Since then, the column has been in continual evolution, first moving away from cupcakes to more sophisticated and varied sweets, and then transitioning from almost exclusively vegetarian fare to seafood and meat. Now we feature as many non-American recipes as we can get. This week, we return to pasta with a recipe for Pasta alla Puttanesca (always remember the “-esc-a,” or you’ll end up saying something not so pretty) from freelance writer and photographer Linda Xiao. This is one of those recipes that I never tire of eating. A foodie’s cupboard will almost always be stocked with these items, so I imagine many of you will be able to throw this together over the weekend. For those of you who don’t have these ingredients already, there’s no time like the present to start stocking them! — Kristina
About Linda: Linda is a New York-based freelance writer and photographer. Last year, in a leap of faith, she threw in the towel at her corporate marketing job in San Francisco, backpacked through South America and moved to Brooklyn, where she now resides. In her spare time, she writes the food blog The Tart Tart, which gives her the perfect excuse to drag her fiancé to all the farmers’ markets in the area.
Photography and styling by Linda Xiao
Read Linda’s recipe after the jump . . .
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 2 to 3 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 14-oz. can of diced or whole tomatoes
- 1/4 cup olives, pitted and halved
- 2 anchovy fillets, chopped
- 1 Tbsp capers, drained
- 1/2 tsp dried oregano
- 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
- 2 servings of angel hair
- 2 Tbsp fresh basil, plus more for serving
- Parmesan cheese for serving
1. In a medium pot, boil water and make pasta.
2. In a medium saucepan, heat oil over medium heat. Add garlic and sauté until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
3. Add tomatoes and their juices, as well as olives, anchovies, capers, oregano, and red pepper flakes and simmer until the sauce thickens, about 5 minutes. Break up the tomatoes if whole. Add salt and pepper to taste.
4. Once the pasta is done, drain it and add it back to the pot. Pour the sauce and basil into the same pot and mix well.
5. Serve along with extra basil and Parmesan.
At some point every summer, around this time usually, I find myself tiring of the endless salads, sandwiches, and other raw sundries that are the signatures of the season. Instead, I just crave pasta. Which is why I turn to pasta alla puttanesca. This one’s got a little heft, but is by no means a heavy dish. Instead, the sauce is tart and spicy and light, tomato-based with nothing more than a couple glugs of olive oil in it to weigh it down. Also, it comes together super quick, and requires all of about 10 minutes on the stove (most of it spent waiting for pasta water to boil). It’s kind of like the anti-pasta. And it really hits the spot.