Tonight’s dinner is pasta puttanesca or pasta in the style of the prostitute. It is an odd name for a delicious dish. I used a can of tomatoes with chiles supplemented by part of a can of regular chopped tomatoes. I have included the recipe below.
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
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 with salt. When onions are translucent, add garlic in 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