Friday, April 15, 2005

Housewarming Puttanesca

Last Saturday night, the Boy and I finally threw our belated housewarming party. We invited my crazy acting school friends and Jess from college came in for the weekend from Cambridge where she's studying. As usual, we made way too much food, but it was fun and everyone likes left-overs.

Normally at my friends' parties, everyone brings a little something and the host makes something like a quiche (or several) and cuts them up in little pieces. Or else we have an International party, which means everyone makes something from there country. In the past, I've done Chopped Eggs and Onions (Jewish) and Mac and Cheese (American), but neither of those choices appealed to me. And I'm scared of making Chinese food for the Boy. So on to our adopted culture--Italian.

After poring over recipes and decided I should probably do something vegetarian-friendly (though not technically vegetarian), I decided on a Puttanesca sauce, borrowing the recipe from Jen at Roast Chicken Reasoning.

The puttanesca was great, spicier than I usually make it, and even permitted me to make a trip to the awesome spice store to buy chilies. Kym the Canadian brought smoked salmon and oysters and with several bottles of wine and one of bubbly, we had a delightful dinner.

Adapted from Roast Chicken Reasoning.

We had a ton of pasta left over, so I would say this serves about 8 people. I recommend it over spaghetti.

1/2 Olive Oil
8 cloves Garlic, smashed + 6 cloves Garlic, finely chopped
1 teaspoon dry Cayenne Peppers
4 cans Diced Tomatoes
100 g Black Olives, sliced
4 heaping teaspoons Capers
1 bunch Curly Parsley
2 canned Sardine fillets
1 handful Celery greens

Heat the oil over high heat in a frying pan. When it is hot enough that it sizzles when some water is flicked in, add the smashed Garlic. Fry them until golden and crunchy but not burnt.

Remove the garlic "chips" and save them. Add the Peppers and chopped Garlic. Fry for 2 minutes. Add the cans of Tomatoes, lower heat to medium-high and let come to a boil.

Gently stir in the Sardines, Olives, Capers and Parsley. Allow the sauce to reduce and thicken, cooking it for about 35 minutes over medium heat.

Add the Celery Greens and salt to taste. Spoon it onto freshly made spaghetti. Add parmesan cheese as desired.

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