Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Italy: Spaghetti Puttanesca

When I moved here, I was under the impression that there were four different seasons: Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter - the regular lot so to speak. Alas, I learned differently. It turns out there are only two seasons.
They do overlap a little, though. The first season, running approximately from May to September (sometimes into from April to October, weather permitting), I am calling "Tag Sale and Biker Season". As soon as the last snow is melted and the sun comes out, so do the bikers. You can see and hear them swarm out on their Harleys. Likewise, electricity poles become covered in neon colored signs announcing tag sales all over the neighborhood. When all this is over, we have "Holiday Season". Starting with Labor Day, a series of holidays is spaced conveniently at 4-6 week intervals, ending with Memorial Day. That leaves just enough time after each holiday to take down the decorations, buy those for the next celebration, and put them up.
And now for today's recipe. I made a quick and easy pasta dish. It's one of the classic Italian recipes that exist in countless variations.

5 ripe plum tomatoes, coarsely chopped
1 tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlice, crushed
1 dash dried red pepper
1/3 cup water
16 green olives, sliced
4-8 anchovis fillets, chopped
2 tsp capers, chopped
2 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
1 tbsp fresh basil, chopped
6 oz spaghetti
shredded parmesan for serving

Heat olive oil over medium heat. Add garlic and fry for 1 minutes. Add tomatoes, red pepper, and water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 10 minutes. Add olives, anchovis, capers, and herbs and simmer for 3 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. In the meantime, prepare pasta according to instructions. Serve with sauce and parmesan.

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