Here is a classic BIG-flavor dish that takes a short amount of time to prepare. Pasta Puttanesca, the word puttan means worthless, or throw-away (also slang for hooker) in Italian and several other languages. The dish was named puttanesca because the ingredients were all a chef had left in his pantry one night–just the leftover items from a busy day in the kitchen.
I’d say he discovered a pretty terrific combination! Fresh, herbs, lots of briny olives and capers, tomatoes…what’s not to love?
(After shots revised 2/12.)
You could serve this as a vegetarian dish. But every time I come across a vegetarian dish, I think to myself, “You know what would be great with this…STEAK!” So here it is, Pasta Puttanesca with New York Strips and Crispy Basil.
Boil the pasta as directed on the package. Drain and set aside.
Heat two large skillets—one to high heat, and one to medium. The skillet over high heat is for the steak. Add the butter and oil to the skillet. Salt and pepper the steaks.
Drop the basil leaves into the hot butter and oil; flash fry for 30 seconds to 1 minute. Watch out—the fat will pop as the moisture is released from the basil. When the leaves look crispy, but still green, remove them with a slotted spoon and place them on a paper towel.
Meanwhile, add 1 Tb. if oil to the second skillet over medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the garlic, parsley, olives, capers, anchovy paste, oregano, and red pepper. Sauté for 3 minutes.
You can serve each person a whole steak, but for my family I usually just buy 2 large steaks and slice them on the bias. I fan them out next to the pasta. Serve the steaks drizzled with pan juices and topped with crispy basil leaves!
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