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Pasta Puttanesca

This is a traditional Italian dish, very strong flavors with lots of garlic and spice. A wonderful pasta dish!


penne pasta, cooked to al dente, rinsed and set aside

extra virgin olive oil

6 -8 cloves garlic, peeled and slivered

6-8 tomatoes - preferably roma tomatoes, cored and diced

anchovy filets or paste (I prefer to use paste in this dish because it melts in and makes the dish very savory.)

One medium onion, cut so that you have nice arcs of onion but not too thick

capers - to taste, generally 1 Tbl or so

kalamata olives (regular black olives do not work in this dish, use an Italian, salty olive) without pits and chopped in half. Use 8-12 olives.

red chili flakes (to taste)

cracked black pepper (to taste)

2 pieces of bacon that you have cooked to crisp, set aside (optional)



Coat a sauce pan lightly with olive oil, put in garlic, two good shakes of chili flakes, onion and the anchovy. If using the filets, finely chop up 2 or 3 filets. If using the paste squeeze out about an inch and half of paste into the pan. Saute all the ingredients on medium, stirring all the flavors together. When the garlic and onions start to carmelize (turn brown, releasing the sugars) add the tomatoes and saute together until the tomatoes start to turn soft and lose a little of their definition. Toss in the capers and olives and simmer all of these ingredients for a few minutes. Crumble bacon in at the last minute.

Toss the penne pasta in the mix and dish up, top with fresh grated parmesan cheese.