Pasta with Puttanesca Cruda

Adapted from Kitchen Express

When you have gorgeous ripe tomatoes, consider making this terrific and easy weeknight pasta dish. “Cruda” means raw, and as such, the sauce is merely a blend of chopped fresh tomatoes, herbs, olives and capers. Serve this dish with crusty bread to mop up the delicious sauce.

  • 2 large ripe tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup pitted olives
  • 2 tablespoons capers, drained
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
  • 1/4 teaspoon anchovy paste
  • 2 garlic cloves, pressed
  • 1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 pound short pasta (I used Sedanini Rigate)
  • Freshly grated Parmesan cheese, for serving
  • In a large bowl, combine chopped tomatoes, salt, olives, capers, basil, parlsey, oregano, thyme, anchovy paste, garlic, crushed red pepper flakes and olive oil. Toss gently, then set aside while you cook the pasta.
  • Fill a pot with at least 3 quarts of cold water and 1 tablespoon of kosher salt. Sound like a lot of salt? Trust me on this. You want the water salty to sufficiently flavor the pasta. Bring salted water to a boil and cook the pasta according to package directions for al dente. Just before draining, reserve 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid and set aside.
  • Drain the pasta and immediately place the hot pasta into the bowl with the tomato mixture, tossing gently to warm the sauce slightly. Add a little cooking water and continue to toss.
  • Serve with freshly grated Parmesan cheese and additional chopped fresh herbs.
  • Quick Tips
  • 1. A word about the anchovy paste – the tiny amount used here is for flavor. No one noticed or said a thing, so don’t worry if you don’t like anchovies. If you already have the paste, use it. If not, it can be skipped if you don’t think you’ll use it again in another recipe.
  • 2. One more word about the anchovy paste – to make this dish truly vegetarian, omit it.
  • 3. I used a mix of herbs available in my little back deck herb garden. You can be creative and flexible with which herbs you use.
  • 3. When I cook pasta, I assume 2 oz. per person. This recipe was just about right for 4 reasonably hungry people.

Preparation time: 20 minute(s)

Cooking time: 12 minute(s)

Number of servings (yield): 4


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