Meatless Monday #2 – Easy, Fast & Vegetarian Rigatoni alla Puttanesca

Hey y’all!

Last week was a very busy one! First I represented SPUN at Northside Festival: a lot of work + a lot of fun! Thanks to all the people who stopped by to ask about our work!

Me and SPUN’s intern extraordinaire Chris promoting SPUN at Northside Festival

Also, in HUGE NEWS, on Friday June 14 M and I celebrated our First Anniversary as a married couple! We had a very nice dinner at Balthazar, the most famous French restaurant in NYC, which I highly recommend if you are looking for awesome fish, steaks, profiteroles and legit French fries fried in butter. NOM!

Pretty M❤

Since it’s Monday again (UGH) here’s another fast and easy meatless recipe for when you get off work! I used 2 anchovy fillets, so I’m not sure it would fully qualify as a vegan recipe, but I guess it does qualify as Vegetarian. Either way it’s really yummy! Here it goes.

Rigatoni alla Puttanesca.

FUN FACT: the word “puttanesca” technically means “whorish” — pasta alla puttanesca is pasta “the whore’s way.” Food historians have multiple theories on why this recipe is so called. Some say this kind of pasta was typically served in brothels in Campania (the region where Naples is) because it’s quick and easy to prepare. Some say its colors are reminiscent of the flamboyant clothing prostitutes would wear to attract clients. Others say it’s the kind of pasta that prostitutes would eat to gain energy between one client and the other. There’s also a restaurateur who claims he invented this recipe and its name when a few friends came to his restaurant in Ischia asking to eat something quick and easy, “una puttanata qualsiasi” — something “whorish,” which is a way Italians use to indicate something random, something stupid (or even a lie). Which is to say, an easy dish.

Serves 2.

You are going to need:

Rigatoni!

And the following:
– Tomato Puree with chunks, I recommend the Cirio kind if available at your local store;
– Anchovy Fillets in Olive Oil (better yet if they are imported from Italy);
– Capers;
– Green Olives and Black Olives;
– Garlic & Onion;
– Chili Peppers.

(Disregard the “Miele” jar, which was a honey jar and is now home to my sliced black olives)

How to!

1) Put a nice pot full of salted water on the stove and let it reach a boil.

2)  Chop a quarter of your onion. Peel and crush a few garlic cloves. 

3) Chop up your olives if they aren’t already sliced — My green olives weren’t. Mix the olives and the capers and set aside.

4) In a large pan, heat up a couple tablespoons of Extra Virgin Olive Oil, then drop in the garlic, onion, a couple of anchovy fillets and as many chili peppers as you like.


5) Let them simmer for a few moments, gently mash the anchovy fillets until they are basically dissolved. Then drop the olives and capers in and let them simmer too.

6) When things are looking awesome in the pan, add the tomato puree and mix well. While the tomato absorbes all the flavors, drop the pasta.

7) Taste your pasta and check if it’s already al dente. If so, drain it and add it to the pan.

8) Mix this awesomeness like you mean it.

9) You’re done! Serve and add some grated Parmigiano Reggiano if you like.

10) EAT. And enjoy!

For the record, I served this with just a very simple side lettuce and arugula salad with shaved carrots, tomatoes and corn, drizzled with Extra Virgin Olive Oil.

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