Friday, February 07, 2014

Bad Weather Getting You Down?
Cooking Will Cheer You Up!
Make Vegan Pasta Puttanesca

I added chopped artichokes to this Puttanesca sauce.

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Bad Weather makes me want to Cook
Many parts of the U.S. are covered with snow, others with ice. In California, we're finally getting the much needed rain and this weekend promises more of the same. Cold, rain, snow, and ice all have the same effect on me and many others - it makes us want to head to a nice warm kitchen and start cooking!

And what's more comforting than pasta? This particular recipe can be made with ingredients from your pantry since you might not be able to get out of the house and shop for fresh veggies in a snow storm.

Today's ingredients come out of the pantry.

The name of this sauce is derived from the Italian word puttana which means whore. You may be wondering why this dish is named after a lady of the night. 

The explanation I've always heard is that it was such an easy dish to make, it was often made by prostitutes who didn't really have much time to cook - after all, time is money! There are several other explanations floating around but I'm sticking with this one.

Puttanesca sauce is usually made with olives, capers, and anchovies. I've left out the anchovies today as my vegan followers avoid fish and many others cringe at the very sight of anchovies. But my pesca-vegan and other fish loving friends can add them in as they give Puttanesca a nice, salty flavor. They would be added, along with some of the oil from the can, while cooking the garlic. (Anchovies are also a good source of EPA and DHA omega-3 fatty acids.)

I also tossed in a can of artichokes just to add some more veggies to the dish. You can use artichoke bottoms or artichoke hearts as either would work fine. Artichoke hearts, however, contain more heart-healthy fiber.

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Pasta Puttanesca with Artichokes
Vegan, Gluten Free (with Gluten-Free Pasta)
[makes 6 servings]

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 cup finely chopped onions
4 cloves garlic, minced
14 ounce can artichoke hearts or bottoms, chopped
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/8 teaspoon black pepper, or to taste
28 ounce can crushed tomatoes 
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/2 cup pitted and sliced kalamata olives (about 20)
3 tablespoon small (non-pariel) capers
1 pound pasta

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil for the pasta. 

Meanwhile, make the sauce. Heat the oil in a 5-quart Dutch oven. Add the onions and cook on medium-low heat until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. 

Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about one minute. 

Add the artichokes, oregano, basil, and black pepper and stir for a minute until the artichokes are coated with the seasonings.

Add the tomatoes, red pepper flakes, fresh parsley, olives, and capers, and simmer on low heat while the pasta cooks.

Prepare the pasta according to directions. Drain, toss with the sauce and serve.

Per serving (regular pasta and artichoke hearts, not bottoms): 422 calories, 9 g total fat, 1 g saturated fat, 90 mg omega-3 and 1,229 omega-6 fatty acids, 0 mg cholesterol, 14 g protein, 73 g carbohydrates, 7 g dietary fiber, and 655 mg sodium.

Per serving (whole wheat pasta and artichoke hearts, not bottoms): 407 calories, 9 g total fat, 1 g saturated fat, 91 mg omega-3 and 1,220 omega-6 fatty acids, 0 mg cholesterol, 15 g protein, 73 g carbohydrates, 11 g dietary fiber, and 657 mg sodium.

1 comment:

Cheryl Allen Salinas said...

Oh yum -- gonna make it now!