Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Carmela Soprano's Spaghetti Puttanesca - Whore's Style Spaghetti

Tomorrow's my birthday.
I'm still a little rattled by the Jay Leno turning 63 kerfuffle.
I could do with a heavy dose of carbs.
it's time to visit the shrink, Dr. Jennifer Melfi, M.D., M.A., M.F.T.
I know she is nowhere near 63.
But she always tries to help, no matter how old her client is.

Jennifer's chapter Rage, Guilt, Loneliness, and Food in Artie's The Sopranos Family Cookbook has a nice simple spaghetti sauce recipe, Spaghetti Puttanesca.

It's a classic, kind of like the classic opera Carmen.
Yes, Puttanesca is Italian for whore.
It's more commonly known as Spaghetti alla Puttanesca (whore's style spaghetti).
The earliest known mention of it is in a 1961 Italian novel.

With anchovies, without anchovies.
With green peppers, without green peppers.
With crushed red pepper, without crushed red pepper.
With Extra Virgin olive oil, or with oil that's been around.

Hey, different strokes for different folks.

If you have fresh tomatoes, you can substitute
2 1/2 pounds ripe plum tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped

The sauce also goes well with penne, bucatini, linguine and vermicelli.

Make it a dinner and a movie night…
Rent Sophia Loren's Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow.
Ah, the sixties!

                        Spaghetti Puttanesca

Serves 4 to 6

In a dutch oven place
1/3 Cup olive oil
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
pinch of crushed red pepper (or 1 small dried peperoncino, crumbled)
Cook over low heat until the garlic is golden.
Raise the heat to medium and add
1 28 to 35-ounce can Italian tomatoes, drained and chopped
1 teaspoon dried oregano
pinch of salt
Simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, until the liquid is reduced.

Stir in
1/2 Cup pitted and chopped oil-cured olives
1/4 Cup capers, rinsed
8 to 12 anchovy fillets, drained
1/4 Cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
Cook for 2 minutes more.

WHILE THE SAUCE IS SIMMERING, in a large pot place
4 quarts water
salt to taste
Bring to a boil.
1 pound spaghetti
Cook, stirring frequently, until the pasta is al dente.
Drain the pasta and place it in the sauce.
Toss the pasta until it is coated.
Serve immediately.

Would I make Spaghetti Puttanesca again?
Sure, It's easy.
So is Sophia in Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow.
And, with enough pasta and wine, you can be, too.
Works for me….

One recipe down.  Seventeen more to go.

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