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1 lb spaghetti or the pasta of your choice
1 medium onion, chopped
1 (2 oz.) can of anchovies
Pinch of hot pepper flakes, (more or less to taste)
Salt and pepper to taste
Olive oil as needed
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 (28 oz.) can of plum tomatoes, including the juice.
2 tablespoons capers
½ cup chopped black olives, (about 25 small olives)
Oregano, chopped, to taste
Parsley, chopped, to taste
Grated Parmesan cheese to taste
Boil the pasta while making the sauce but try to time it that the sauce is done first. Better the sauce simmer for a few extra minutes waiting for the pasta than the reverse. Remove the pasta just a little before it is done so you can finish cooking it in the sauce.
Sweat the onion, anchovies, hot pepper, salt and pepper in a generous amount of olive oil until the onions soften and the anchovies disintegrate somewhat. Break the anchovies up with a wooden spoon as they sweat. Go easy on the salt since many of the ingredients are already salty. Add the garlic and cook one minute more.
Next add the tomatoes and their juices, breaking them up with a masher or wooden spoon as you bring them to a boil. Add the capers and olives, reduce the heat and simmer uncovered for 8-10 minutes. Add the almost done pasta and cook until the pasta is al dente. Check for additional salt and pepper. Finish with the oregano, parsley and cheese and serve.
Oregano by the way is one of the few herbs that aren’t that bad in dried form. Fresh is always best but you can by with dried oregano. The parsley however, must be fresh. Dried parsley is an insipid and grim shadow of its fresh counterpart.
Interestingly, black olives are an ingredient in numerous recipes considered to have aphrodisiacal properties. Moreover, they are rumored to specifically increase the female libido. Maybe that’s what put the eroticism in Puttanesca sauce?
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