Soooo "A Series of Unfortunate Events" is probably the reason I ever tried puttanesca sauce. In the first book, the Baudelaire orphans are commanded to make dinner for Count Olaf and his gross theater troupe and they decided to make puttanesca! (By the way, I finally finished the entire series this year, and the ending sucked.)
But my point is, I decided to make puttanesca! It's full of really strong flavors but if you're feeling adventurous you should give it a shot! Nathan hates olives but he can mostly deal with the amount I put in :) I stole this recipe from a New York Times article I found online, and tweaked it a bit.
Salt to taste
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 or more cloves garlic, lightly smashed and peeled
3 or more anchovy fillets
2 cans of petite diced tomatoes
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
1/2 cup pitted Greek/kalamata olives, chopped (I use way less)
2 tablespoons capers
Crushed red pepper flakes to taste
~1/2 pound linguine or other long pasta (I use thin spaghetti; angel hair is a bad choice)
Chopped fresh parsley, oregano, marjoram or basil leaves for garnish, optional
1. Bring pot of water to boil and salt it. Warm 2 tablespoons oil with garlic and anchovies in skillet over medium-low heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until garlic is lightly golden.
2. Drain tomatoes and crush with fork or hands. Add to skillet, with some salt and pepper. 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, and continue to simmer.
3. Cook pasta, stirring occasionally, until it is tender but not mushy. Drain quickly and toss with sauce and remaining tablespoon of oil. Taste and adjust seasonings as necessary, garnish with herbs if you like, and serve.
I kept the directions the same but changed the ingredients a bit. I use a whole tin of anchovies but you can definitely use less, although do not skip them. If you say you don't like anchovy flavor, realize that it's a main ingredient in Caesar salad dressing and a lot of Asian food. The fish themselves kind of melt when they're heated with the garlic and oil anyway. Speaking of garlic, I just toss it in the pan willy-nilly. I like lots of garlic so I put a lot in there. Go easy on the red pepper flakes if you're not into super spicy. And when the sauce is done, I don't add any extra herbs or spices, it usually tastes BOMB.