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Ellen’s Kitchen & Garden

Easy and sophisticated, Shrimp Puttanesca over Penne

Posted Friday,
February 14, 2020
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By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Sometimes I think I live under a rock. I’m such a fan of Italian dishes, more so than any other, I don’t know why I hadn’t heard of this recipe earlier in life?

Anne Hall was visiting the Northern Neck and during her stay at the Tides Inn she ordered Tuna Puttanesca. She absolutely raved about it. Not wanting to let on that I wasn’t familiar with the dish, I googled it as soon as I had the chance.

The origin of this recipe is interesting. It came about in Naples in the mid-twentieth century. “Ladies of the night” are said to have created it. It’s a fairly quick dish to prepare, so quick, the “ladies” could make it between clients.

The name is derived from the Italian word puttane which means whores. But puttanesca translates to anchovies, olives and capers. So loosely translated Puttanesca could be “in the style whores.”

No matter how it came about, it is delicious and so versatile. The sauce’s basic ingredients are tomatoes, garlic, anchovies, capers and olives. Red pepper flakes add an extra kick.

While I chose shrimp for this recipe, one can use any type of protein. Instead of shrimp, any fish, crustacean or chicken could be used. More typically spaghetti or linguini are used and the sauce and pasta are stirred together before serving.

So, if you’re in a quandary over what to serve for dinner, this could be the perfect entrée.

Shrimp Puttanesca over Penne

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
2 large cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 cup dry white wine (Vermouth)
One 14.5-oz. can diced tomatoes
1/2 cup pitted Kalamata olives, halved
2 tablespoons capers
1 lb. pound large shrimp, shelled and deveined
4 anchovies, finely chopped
12 ounces gluten-free penne pasta
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley

Heat the oil in 12-inch frying pan over medium heat and cook the onions until translucent. Stir in the garlic, oregano, and pepper flakes and cook another minute. Add the wine and simmer until it is almost evaporated. Add the tomatoes, olives, and capers and bring to a boil then reduce heat to simmer.

While sauce simmers bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the penne and cook until al dente. Pour into strainer and rinse quickly with cold water.

In the last five minutes of cooking the pasta, add the shrimp and anchovies to the sauce. Raise the heat to medium heat and cook until the shrimp are cooked (pink), 3 to 4 minutes.

Serve sauce over pasta and sprinkle with cheese and parsley.

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