Puttanesca and the Correct Pasta
Well this past weekend I was pooped out of wine, after tasting so many wines on Wednesday. However, I had a great desire to make some fun food. So my friend Benyamin explained to me his version of Puttanesca, which is pretty much in-line with this recipe. However, like all recipes I am not interested in standing pat, and more, I wanted to add in some fake ground meat. So I followed the recipe, but when it called for the sauce, I added the fake ground meat, browned it for a bit, and then added in the sauce and an hour late it was done. I must stress that using any olives other than Kalamata olives is a waste of time and money.
I hope this helps people try this recipe. I must stress that the capers and anchovies are a base and should not be increased in volume. Also, please do not shy away from it just because it has anchovies and/or capers. They are barely noticeable and they add this thickness and weight to the flavor profile, but the olives dominate the palate.
We enjoyed the dish with a nice whole wheat spaghetti. Normally, a Puttanesca would NEVER work spaghetti, but because we modified the recipe to become a far thicker and heftier sauce with the fake meat, it worked quite nicely.
Now depending on if you want to modify the recipe and/or make it thicker, you will have to make a choice of the correct pasta, to serve with the Puttanesca. People commonly think that pasta is pasta – man that cannot be further from the truth. First you need to look at how thirsty of a pasta you want – a web site like this. There is a reason why there are SO many boxes of shapes on the supermarket shelves. The more surface space a pasta has, the more liquid it can soak up. Equally important is the thickness or density of the pasta itself. If the sauce or meal is more delicate than pair it with a delicate pasta. If the sauce is thick and heavy, better to pair it with a pasta with more volume. Pasta, sauce, and wine all meld together to reach a true nirvana or something less than that.
Enjoy that pasta!