Spaghetti alla Puttanesca is one of my favourite meals at the moment, and SO easy to make it is almost criminal not to make it.
The "proper" version has anchovies in it, so I have replaced those with mushrooms.
Let me give you a few facts on Spaghetti Puttanesca. In Italian it simple means "Spaghetti a la whore" Which is nice!
If you Google it you will find Nigella Lawson's website describes it as "Slut's Spaghetti", whereas Delia Smith tones it down a bit and calls it "Tart's Spaghetti".
Personally, I like to call it Spaghetti Puttanesca, but I just wanted an excuse to write a lot of naughty words in my blog :)
Going back to Delia though, I do like this bit she put on her recipe....
If you are a strict vegetarian, replace the anchovies with another heaped tablespoon of capers.
Because, to me, if you are not a strict vegetarian and you would be tempted to eat the anchovies, surely you would not be a vegetarian at all, more of a pescatarian - anyway.....
Here is my "chuck it all in and hope it works" version.
You will need:
- Spaghetti (dried)
- Mushrooms (fresh)
- Sun-dried tomatoes (in a jar)
- Olives (in a jar)
- Caper (in a jar)
- Garlic (frozen in a box)
- Wee bit of tomato sauce (stolen from the carnivores spaghetti bolognese)
- Oil (from the sun-dried tomato jar)
What you do:
- Pop your spaghetti on to cook, the timing doesn't hugely matter as you will reheat it in the sauce later, so cook it ahead if you like then drain and keep to one side.
- Chop up the sun-dried tomatoes, halve the olives and drain a good spoonful of capers.
(do you know what a caper is? It is a small flower but of the Capparis shrub which grows in the Mediterranean. You learn something new every day don't you?)
- Chop up the mushrooms on the same board, coating them in the oil left on the board from the tomatoes.
- Get your garlic and tomato sauce ready to chuck in (you can use passata if you have no tomato pasta sauce stolen from another meal)
- Using a little oil from the jar of tomatoes, fry your garlic and your mushrooms.
- Chuck in the tomatoes, olives and capers. Heat until bubbling.
- Plop in the cooked, drained spaghetti and the tomato sauce. Stir until coated.
How easy was that then? Easy peasy, that's how easy.
Now go eat, and enjoy :)