Risqué Ricky’s Sauce Puttanesca by Rick Brown
Sauce Puttanesca has an alluring legend attached to its history. The tale features some industrious, self-promoting Ladies of the Night in Italy. As intriguing as the story is, I will leave the research up to you. I will say … it’s worth your effort.
This is yet another augmented Mollie Katzen recipe from The Moosewood Cookbook. I’ve changed it considerably, beginning with doubling the recipe because it freezes and cooks up again quite well. The dish has become a welcomed … and savored … comfort dish in the Brown household.
And yes … one of the primary ingredients is the much-maligned anchovy. I too used to dread this tiny yet mighty fish. But like most people … I had never really tried anchovies. I strongly suggest you swallow your pride (… and misguided, self-applied mythology) … and try anchovies. You will be delightfully surprised!
1 lb., 13 oz. cans of diced tomatoes or 4 lbs. fresh tomatoes skinned and diced
12 or 16 oz. can of tomato paste
15 to 20 medium cloves of garlic minced
40 to 50 Greek Kalamata pitted olives sliced
8 to 10 anchovies, minced … or 3 to 4 tbsps. of anchovy paste (… or less if you’re a reluctant anchovy virgin)
black pepper to taste
crushed red pepper to taste
1 lb. shell pasta
fresh minced parsley (optional garnish)
Combine tomatoes, their liquid, tomato paste, garlic and anchovies in a medium to large saucepan or Dutch Oven and slowly bring to a boil. Reduce heat and season with black pepper and a pinch of red pepper flakes … to taste. Simmer partially covered for 20 to 30 minutes. (This will help the anchovies “dissolve” into the sauce). Turn off heat.
Puree the sauce with a hand-held blender (A smart choice over transferring to a blender or food processor … then back again.) until smooth. Add sliced Kalamata olives and slowly return sauce to a gentle simmer, partially covered. Continue subtle simmering while preparing pasta.
Boil pasta in a pasta pot until al dente, drain and portion it out in bowls. Ladle a generous amount of Puttanesca Sauce on each serving and garnish with fresh parsley. Parmesan can be added … to taste … at the table.
This is a delicious, simple dish to be enjoyed with family or friends … or maybe even a couple of hookers!