…is the really classy name we use at our house for the pasta dish I made for dinner tonight. A more suitable name might be “Versatile Noodles” since they are very easy and inexpensive to make, kid friendly, yet classy enough to serve to company. I started making the Penne Arrabbiata recipe from the Williams Sonoma Pasta cookbook, but they offered a variation on the recipe to turn it into Puttanesca instead. While I liked the idea of adding capers and olives, there was no way I was even going to think of adding anchovies. So what I make is somewhere in between the two recipes, but cannot really be called either. So we call them Tomato Noodles, and we eat them once a week.
Note: I tend to switch things up every time I make this, depending on what I have on hand. Sometimes I’ll add a splash of red wine if I have an open bottle that hasn’t, for some strange reason, been finished. Sometimes I’ll add basil paste if I don’t have any fresh. Tonight I added parsley out of the garden because I had a lot of it.
1/4 C olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
Generous pinch of red pepper flakes (I tend to cut back so the kids don’t scream)
1 (35 oz) can of plum tomatoes, chopped with juice
salt & pepper (if adding capers I tend to not add any extra salt)
12 fresh basil leaves, coarsely chopped
Generous pinch of dried oregano
Splash of balsamic vinegar (optional, but I find it really brightens up the flavor)
1/2 C olives, halved and pitted (I just add whatever olives I have on hand)
1/4 C capers
1 lb pasta (I usually use penne or fusilli)
Put large pot of water on to boil and cook noodles until tender
Meanwhile, add olive oil, garlic and red pepper flakes to large skillet and heat over medium heat, being careful not to burn garlic
Add tomatoes and raise heat to medium-high
Simmer for 5 minutes or so
Add salt, pepper, basil, oregano, balsamic vinegar, olives and capers
Simmer until pasta is done, but do not let it reduce too much (if it gets dry you can add some of the pasta water)
When pasta is done, drain and add to sauce. Mix, serve with parmesan cheese.