Penne puttanesca recipe

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A famous Italian pasta recipe made with capers, anchovies, olives and lots of garlic.
Preparation time: 10 minutes, Cooking time: 10 minutes, Serves: 4 


For the Marinara base
3-4 cloves garlic
1/2 - 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/2 - 1 tsp salt
20 fresh basil leaves
16 oz (2 cups) canned tomatoes, chopped
1/4 cup cold water

For the Puttanesca sauce
1/3 cup olive oil
1 Tbsp chilli flakes, crushed (optional)
2-3 cloves garlic, minced  
8 anchovy fillets, rinsed
1/4 cup capers, rinsed, drained
24 pitted Kalamata olives
2 Tbsp parsly, finely chopped
16 oz penne pasta
Parmesan cheese, grated


To prepare the marinara base:
In a food processor, add the garlic and basil leaves and chop finely. Add the salt, black pepper and water and process for 30 seconds. Add the chopped tomatoes, stir well and set aside.

To prepare the puttanesca sauce:
Heat the olive oil in a large saute pan. Add the anchovies and cook. While cooking, mash the anchovies with the back of a spoon until disolved. Add the garlic, parsley and crushed chilli flakes. Cook for about 1 minute. Add the capers and olives and cook for about 30 seconds. Stir in the marinara base and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and keep warm.

Cook the pasta in lots of boiling water salted water according to package instructions. Drain and put back into the hot pan. Add the sauce and stir well.

Serve with grated parmesan cheese.

Notes and tips

Although this recipe uses anchovies, the resulting dish does not taste like anchovies at all. If you do not have fresh basil leaves, use dried basil (although fresh basil tastes much better). Also, if you do not like your food too spicy, do not add the chilli flakes, or use less.
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