Sunday, August 4, 2013

Pasta Puttanesca

Sometimes simple meals are the best, am I right?

It seems that the trend with food blogs is to step up your game and churn out recipes that are more elaborate, crammed with strange ingredients, and bearing a title that's a million miles long. Sometimes I enjoy those meals... but they are typically anything but easy and weeknight friendly. And often, they aren't any tastier than a simple, fresh, tried and true recipe that's been around for generations.

This is one of those kinda meals.

Pasta Puttanesca is a simple Italian dish that's been around awhile. Gather a short list of ingredients, make a quick sauce, toss it with pasta, and it's on your table in 15 minutes.

Did she say 15 minutes?

Yup, I did - and it's true! Maybe make it 20 if you're a slow chopper :)

Some of my favorite foods are in pasta puttanesca - capers, arugula, olives... it's flavorful, salty, with some bite!

This is also a lighter version, thanks to the whole wheat pasta. Clocks in around 350 calories a serving. Yum!

I included shrimp, since Jason is not a fan of meatless meals, but you could easily leave them out!

Pasta Puttanesca
8 ounces whole wheat thin spaghetti, vermicelli, or angel hair
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/3 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
1/4 cup pitted chopped Spanish or Greek olives
2 tablespoons capers
1 teaspoon anchovy paste
1 tablespoon fresh oregano leaves or 1 teaspoon dried
1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 (14 ounce) can diced tomatoes, preferably "no salt added" 
1/2 lb raw peeled and deveined shrimp
3/4 cup chopped fresh arugula
1/4 cup grated Parmesan

Bring a large pot of water to a boil, add pasta, and cook according to directions on package.

While the pasta is cooking, heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and saute until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the parsley, olives, capers, anchovy paste, oregano, and crushed red pepper and saute for 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes and shrimp and simmer for 5 minutes, or until shrimp is cooked through. Stir in the arugula and simmer for 1 minute more, until the greens wilt slightly. 

When the pasta is done, drain it and add it to the skillet, tossing with the sauce to combine. Top with grated Parmesan. 

Source: slightly adapted from Ellie Krieger

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