Thursday, September 1, 2011

Pasta Puttanesca Revisted for Summer

I've always loved the capers, olives, garlic, pepper flakes, anchovies and tomatoes in traditional Puttanesca sauce, but I thought why not make a Summertime version? Herbs, yummy intense flavors- - oh yeah!

You know what Puttanesca means? Right?
Cheap, hot and easy.
It's a dish that prostitutes liked to eat between "appointments"... and I am sure that the cheap, hot and easy part applies to the sauce, not the... ummm... ladies.  I'm not too sure how these ladies smelled after eating Puttanesca, but I bet their dinner tasted good!

The sauce is lightened up for Summer. .. why not lighten it up a bit more with spaghetti squash instead of noodles???
Now... before you turn up your nose, if you have even had it before, when was the last time?
See?  You need to try this again- - - it is awesome, and so good for you!

I am notorious squash hater... but spaghetti squash hardly even qualifies as a squash.  My husband couldn't remember if he ever even tried it before and when he tasted it he said "... I may never eat noodles again- why would I?" Awww... isn't that cute? I like noodles too much to say never again, but I do see why it is so much better for you to replace a majority of empty carbs with something yummy like this. 

Hey, if you still being a hater... I mean a non-believer, go ahead and put this sauce on regular noodles.  I will still love you and it will still taste awesome too.

Serves about 4-6
3/4 cup Italian parsley, chopped
1/4 cup chives, minced
1/4 cup basil, minced
3-4 Tbsp capers
5-6 garlic cloves, minced
5-6 anchovy fillets, or 1-2 Tbsp anchovy paste (optional)
1 tsp red pepper flakes
1 lemon, zested and juiced
1/4 cup olives, kalamata or green, chopped
1/2 cup olive oil

1 medium spaghetti squash

Microwave the spaghetti squash for about 15-20 minutes... BE SURE to stab some holes (carefully, it's really hard) with a sharp knife.  You don't want that thing exploding in your microwave, now do you?

Chop and mince the parsley, basil and chives. Add herb mixture to a medium bowl, add the lemon zest & lemon juice, red pepper flakes and the olives.  Mince the garlic and the anchovies to a smooth paste and add to the mixture. Stir in the olive oil and fresh ground pepper.  Taste to see if it needs salt, but it might not as the olives, capers and anchovies are all pretty salty already.

Removing the hot spaghetti squash from the microwave, cut it in half with a serrated knife.  Remove the seed section from the squash, if possible, before shredding the meat of the squash with a fork. (see that darker yellow section with the seeds in it? Take that out!)

You will be amazed at how the squash flesh just falls into perfect little 'noodles'! Taste the squash and see if it is tender enough for your liking, it is a bit more 'al dente' than noodles, but you can microwave it a bit more to soften, if needed.  Cover with some plastic wrap or a paper towel when microwaving it.

I got a huge plate of squash noodles from one medium squash.  It would be enough for 4 people, and it reheats beautifully too.

Here's some other ideas with Spaghetti Squash:
Spaghetti Squash Carbonara

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