This recipe which I have included below is not quite authentic. I have added mushrooms to it to make it hardier and decreased the amount of oil due to our dietary restrictions. When John and I were actively losing weight we used to make only 5 oz. of pasta but since we are maintaining now, we have edged our portion up to 3 oz. each. Additionally, we break our long strands in half before we cook them. On TV chefs are aghast at this culinary no-no but I think it makes your portion seem bigger and the pasta fits in the pot better.
We love pasta!
Pasta Puttanesca with mushrooms. Adapted from a recipe by Mark Bittman
Salt to taste
2 teaspoons olive oil
6 cremini mushrooms, sliced
¼ large onion, chopped
Salt (use lightly because olives and capers are salty)
2 or more cloves garlic, minced
¼ teaspoon fish sauce* (optional)
1 14 oz. can diced tomatoes with or without jalapeños
¼ cup sliced olives
2 tablespoons capers
Crushed red pepper flakes to taste (do not use if tomatoes have jalapeños)
6 oz. linguine or other long pasta
Chopped fresh parsley, oregano, marjoram or basil leaves for garnish, optional
1. Bring pot of salted water to boil while making the sauce. Put 2 teaspoons oil in high sided skillet over medium heat. Add mushrooms. When mushrooms are starting to brown, add onions. Season lightly with salt. When onions are translucent, add garlic to skillet. When garlic is fragrant (about one minute) move to next step.
2. Add tomatoes and fish sauce*, if using. Raise heat to medium-high and cook, stirring occasionally, until tomatoes break down and mixture becomes saucy, about 10 minutes. Stir in olives, capers and red pepper flakes if you are not using spicy tomatoes. Simmer while pasta cooks.
3. Cook pasta, stirring occasionally, until it is al dente. Reserve 1 cup pasta water. Drain pasta and toss in with sauce which is still over heat. Stir in pasta water a little at a time until you get the consistency you like. Taste and adjust seasonings as necessary, garnish with herbs, and serve.
*Note: For vegan/vegetarian preparation use a little soy sauce or instant coffee in place of the fish sauce