Puttanesca: easy to make, tasty to eat.

I woke up today realizing I haven’t made pasta in months. A notable observation as friends old and new would attest to the fact that I make this almost every week if not at least once a month. My favorite thing to make is what I like to call “Comfort Spaghetti,” which I blogged about here.

So after a light brunch of a banana and the juice of two freshly-squeezed oranges, I decided to re-tread the Italian waters lightly by whipping up a simple angel hair Aglio Olio Pepperoncino—a recipe I learned from the back of the package of parsley and red pepper flakes I bought on a trip to Milan (wherein I also hoarded packs of Perugina Bacci!). It starts with olive oil heated in a pan, red pepper flakes, minced garlic, parsley, and your pasta of choice. It finishes with a little of the pasta water, salt, pepper, and as much cheese as you like. Well, the cheese part is my personal touch, I used parmesan and cheddar. I think the original recipe calls for just the former. I have a sky’s-the-limit take on cheese as you can see.

Another dish I never tire of eating but rarely get to make much of is Puttanesca (pictured), which literally means, “Whore’s Pasta.” Mark Bittman of the New York Times blog, Bitten, writes, “It is said that pasta puttanesca was designed to lure customers with its aroma. Other explanations have more appeal to the minimalist cook: that the prostitutes were too busy to cook much, or that they had no storage for fresh ingredients and cooked entirely from the pantry.”

Puttanesca is a tasty toss of olive oil, garlic, capers, anchovies, tomatoes, and olives. You can find an authentic Italian recipe at http://culinariaitalia.wordpress.com. And that’s what’s next on my (cooking) to-do list. Buon appetito!

Image courtesy of http://www.bbcgoodfood.com.