A Spicy Perspective

Pasta Puttanesca with New York Strips and Crispy Basil

Steak with Crispy Basil

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?

Pasta Puttanesca(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.

Steak with Pasta Puttanesca

Preparation:
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.


Next add the steaks to the skillet. Sear for 4 minutes per side, for medium-rare.


Remove from the pan and tent with foil. Let the steaks rest for 5-10 minutes.

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.



Then add the tomatoes and simmer another 5 minutes. Toss the pasta and arugula into the sauce. Toss until the pasta warms through. You shouldn’t need to salt this, because of the briny ingredients.


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!

Steak with Crispy Basil
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Pasta Puttanesca with New York Strips and Crispy Basil

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Fresh, herbs, lots of briny olives and capers, tomatoes...what's not to love about Pasta Puttanesca?
Servings: 4

Ingredients

  • 2-4 New York strip steaks 1- to 1 1/4-inch thick
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil divided
  • 1/2 cup roughly chopped fresh basil
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 1/2 pound dried pasta Strascinati or Orecchiette
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic (large) minced
  • 1/3 cup chopped Italian parsley
  • 1/3 cup pitted kalamata olives
  • 2 tablesppons capers
  • 1 teaspoon anchovy paste
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 2 dashes crushed red pepper flakes
  • 14 ounces diced tomatoes
  • 3/4 cup fresh arugula or spinach leaves
  • Parmesan for garnish

Instructions

  • 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 2 tablespoons 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.
  • Next add the steaks to the skillet. Sear for 4 minutes per side, for medium-rare.
  • Remove from the pan and tent with foil. Let the steaks rest for 5-10 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, add 1 tablespoon of 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.
  • Then add the tomatoes and simmer another 5 minutes. Toss the pasta and arugula into the sauce. Toss until the pasta warms through. You shouldn’t need to salt this, because of the briny ingredients.
  • 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!

Notes

If your steaks are thicker than 1 1/2 inches, it can be hard to pan sear them perfectly. Preheat your oven to 450 degrees F. Then sear the first side for 4 minutes. Turn the steaks over and place the pan in the oven for about 6 minutes for medium-rare. This will ensure you don’t have a crispy outside and raw inside!

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving, Calories: 664kcal, Carbohydrates: 48g, Protein: 32g, Fat: 39g, Saturated Fat: 13g, Cholesterol: 85mg, Sodium: 330mg, Potassium: 676mg, Fiber: 4g, Sugar: 4g, Vitamin A: 1170IU, Vitamin C: 17.5mg, Calcium: 89mg, Iron: 4.6mg
Course: Main Course, Pasta
Cuisine: American, Italian
Author: Sommer Collier

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6 comments on “Pasta Puttanesca with New York Strips and Crispy Basil”

  1. Delicious

  2. One of my favorite pasta dishes! I always laugh at the name (and the meaning) because puttan was a “bad word” I learned when I was a kid (my fam is Italian)…I would repeat it all the time and my grandparents would freak out….so I laugh now. Lol!!

  3. One thing I like with Puttanesca is to leave the anchovies out. Then you place the anchovy strips on top of the sauce when done and served. If you put the anchovies into the sauce then they dissolve. You get the anchovy flavor, but if you put them on top you get lovely lumps of pure anchovy flavor which has that lovely strong salty flavor. I prefer it that way.

  4. Thank you so much for the great recipe

  5. Puttanesca is one of my favorites and I love the addition of the New York strips. Great job on your updated photos too, Sommer!

  6. One of my favorite pasta dishes! I always laugh at the name (and the meaning) because puttan was a “bad word” I learned when I was a kid (my fam is Italian)…I would repeat it all the time and my grandparents would freak out….so I laugh now. Lol!!

    This looks delicious and my husband would be all over the STEAK addition to the pasta dish!! YUM!