Sunday, February 26, 2012

Penne Puttanesca

This tasty recipe features a chunky tomato sauce accented with olives, capers, and herbs.

Some puttanesca recipes call for green olives, others call for black ones. In this version, we combine both green and black olives for a delightful and colorful contrast.

If you don't like spicy foods, you can leave out the red pepper flakes. Then it won't be a true puttanesca, but it will still be delicious!


8 ounces dried penne rigate pasta (or other small, ridged pasta)
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1/3 cup black olives, pitted and sliced
1/4 cup green olives, pitted and sliced (plain or pimiento-stuffed)
3 tablespoons capers, drained
1/4 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper flakes (more or less to taste)
2 cans (14.5 ounces each) diced tomatoes, preferably petite-cut, undrained
1/4 teaspoon dried Italian herb mixture
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley (preferably Italian flat-leaf parsley), divided

Cook the penne according to the package directions. Drain.

Meanwhile, heat the oil in a heavy skillet over medium to medium-low heat. Add the garlic, and saute for one minute. Add the olives, capers, and red pepper flakes. Saute for 2-3 minutes. Do not let the garlic burn.

Add the diced tomatoes, the Italian herb mixture, and 1/2 tablespoon of the parsley. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Raise heat to medium-high, and bring the mixture almost to a boil.

Reduce heat to low, and simmer, uncovered, over medium heat for 15-20 minutes.

Add the cooked/drained penne to the skillet, and toss to coat all of the pasta with the sauce.

Top with the remaining 1/2 tablespoon of parsley, and serve.

-- 3-4 servings

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