How to Make Easy Pasta Puttanesca

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A bowl of pasta is what we often reach for when the fridge is empty. At least one box of dried pasta is hiding in the pantry, and you can probably scrounge around for a can of tomatoes, or, in the worst case scenario, resort back to your childhood days by melting a tablespoon of butter into boiled pasta, sprinkling a ton of parmesan on top, and calling it a day.

Related Reading: These Easy 5-Ingredient Pasta Sauces Mean Dinner Is Solved

But if you’re looking for an excuse to, well, change things up from the ubiquitous store-bought jar of tomato sauce, then you’ve come to the right place. “Posh Pasta,” the latest cookbook from the Posh series, is here to provide 70 approachable recipes for making pasta at home. 

UK-based food stylist and writer Pip Spence, who worked on the Jamie Oliver food team for eight years, is at the helm of this chic little book, providing insight into fast and furious pasta dishes designed to be made with minimal ingredients and less time by the stove. Along with straightforward recipes like spaghetti carbonara, minestrone soup bobbing with flecks of pasta, and orzo risotto, Pip also shares an easy at-home recipe for pasta dough, plus a gluten-free version, in case you’re ready to step it up a notch.

Ahead, Pip pleases us with a go-to pantry pasta recipe, one buoyed by ingredients you most likely have on hand in the cupboard. All you need to make this Simple but Elegant Storecupboard Pasta is a tin of anchovies, a few cloves of garlic, cherry tomatoes, capers, black olives, chili flakes, and breadcrumbs—plus other staples like spaghetti and olive oil.

This spin on the Italian pasta puttanesca is an excellent addition to any quarantine menu, as it promises to be on the table in just 20 minutes. The sauce cooks down in one skillet while the pasta boils in another, and the whole thing comes together with a little bit of added pasta water to bring the tomato and anchovy mixture together into a glossy sauce.

Suggested credit line: Recipe excerpted with permission from Posh Pasta by Phillippa Spence, published by Quadrille September 2020, RRP $19.99 Hardcover.

Simple But Elegant Storecupboard Pasta Recipe

Quick, tasty and ready in less than 30 minutes. Most of the ingredients could be hanging around in your cupboards, so it’s pretty easy on the pocket too.

Simple But Elegant Storecupboard Pasta

Cook Time: 25 minutesServes: 2

Ingredients
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 20g ( 2⁄3 oz) anchovy fillets in oil (drained weight)
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 x 400g (14oz) can cherry tomatoes
  • 10g ( 1/3 oz/1 tbsp) baby capers
  • 50g (1¾oz/scant ½ cup) black olives, pitted and torn
  • A pinch of crushed chilli flakes
  • 200g (7oz) dried spaghetti
  • 2 tbsp fresh breadcrumbs
  • Sea salt and black pepper
Instructions
  1. Place a medium frying pan on a medium heat. Add 2 tbsp of the oil, the anchovy fillets and garlic. Sauté for 2 minutes, then add the tomatoes, capers, olives and chilli flakes. Rinse out the tomato can with a little water and add to the pan. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, cook the spaghetti in a large pan of boiling, salted water, according to the packet instructions.
  3. While the pasta is cooking, place a small frying pan on a medium heat, add the remaining 1 tbsp oil and the breadcrumbs. Sauté until golden and crisp, then tip out on to a plate lined with kitchen paper. Season well and place to one side.
  4. Drain the cooked pasta, reserving a cupful of the cooking water, and tip into the pan of sauce. Season to taste and toss together, adding a little of the pasta water. Divide between plates, sprinkle over the breadcrumbs and serve.

Header image by Faith Mason.



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