This is one of my favorites sauces to make, so quick and easy and yet so incredibly flavorful!  The history of this sauce is very interesting, one that most people are not aware of:

“LADIES OF THE EVENING:

Puttanesca sauce, most often employed for pasta, originated in Naples. It is made from tomatoes, black olives, capers, anchovies, onions, garlic, and herbs, usually oregano and parsley but sometimes also basil. It is an easy sauce, briefly cooked, and is very fragrant and spicy. Puttanesca translates as “in the style of the whore.” The name derives from the Italian word puttana which means whore. Puttana in turn arises from the Latin word putida which means stinking.

Restaurant encounter

Now I’ll bet your wondering how this tasty dish became associated with such sordid content. As is often the case when sifting through culinary history, there are multiple explanations. The first interpretation is that the intense aroma, (harking back to the “stinking” Latin definition), would lure men from the street into the local house of ill repute. Thus, the Napolese harlots were characterized as the sirens of the culinary world. Three additional accounts all hinge on the fact that Puttanesca sauce is easy and quick to make. The first is that the prostitutes made it for themselves to keep the interruption of their business to a minimum. The second is that they made it for the men awaiting their turn at the brothel. And the final version is that it was a favorite of married women who wished to limit their time in the kitchen so that they may visit their paramour. ”

SHRIMP IN PUTTANSCA SAUCE

I prepared this recipe when I was fortunate to be compete (and win) Food Network’s “Ultimate Recipe Showdown”, hosted by Guy Fieri, a few years ago.  However, my $25,000 winning recipe was Crawfish & Andouille Sausage Pizza.  Instead of shrimp for this dish, I used lobster, but if you choose shrimp, add about 1 pound raw, peeled and deveined, shrimp in place of the raw lobster tail.

Total Time:
30 min
Prep:
15 min
Cook:
15 min

Yield:3 to 4 servings
Level:Easy
Ingredients:

1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 pound lobster tails (either warm water or cold water)
10 to 12 kalamata olives
2 tablespoons capers, rinsed under cold water
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 small shallots, finely diced
5 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes
2 (14.5-ounce) cans diced tomatoes, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup red Italian wine
2/3 cup chicken stock
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried parsley flakes
1 teaspoon anchovy paste
1 pound Italian capellini pasta
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
Freshly ground black pepper
Freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
1 tablespoon freshly chopped Italian parsley leaves

Directions:

Bring a large pot of water to a boil over medium heat and season the water with salt.

Cut the lobster tails lengthwise, remove the meat from the shells and chop into 1-inch pieces. Pit and chop kalamata olives and rinse the capers. Set aside.

Heat a large saute pan over medium-low heat. Add the olive oil and heat through. Add the shallots and cook until soft, about 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in the garlic and red pepper flakes and saute for an additional 30 seconds; do not brown the garlic. Add the tomatoes, wine, chicken stock, basil, parsley and anchovy paste. Simmer for 15 to 20 minutes.

Add the capellini to the boiling water.  Cook about 5 minutes, or until al dente.  Strain in a colander, do not rinse.

Stir the chopped lobster meat, capers, kalamata olives, butter, and pepper, to taste, to the tomato mixture. Cover the pan and simmer the sauce until the lobster meat is cooked, about 5 to 7 minutes.  Place the cooked pasta in a large serving bowl, pour the sauce over the pasta and toss. Sprinkle with grated Parmigiano-Reggiano and the chopped parsley, if desired, and serve.

Read more at: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/lobster-in-puttanesca-sauce-recipe.html?oc=linkback

Lobster in Puttanesca Sauce

Bon Appetito!

Happy September Calendar Photo – Shrimp (and or lobster) in Puttanesca (Ladies of the Evening) Sauce


WREG “Live at 9” – Making Fresh Mozzarella & Grilled Caprese Sandwiches

Fresh Mozzarella

1 pound fresh mozzarella curd*
6 cups water
3 tablespoons kosher salt

Slice the curd into thin slivers and place in a large mixing bowl.

Bring 6 cups of water to a boil over high heat, add the salt and bring back to the boil.

Gently pour enough boiling water over the curd to cover, let it sit for a few minutes to temper the curd. Use 2 wooden spoons to gently gather the curd together in the center of the bowl. Use the spoons to scoop the mass out of the water and hold it above the bowl, allowing the weight of the cheese to cause it to stretch back down to the water. Repeat lifting the cheese and letting it stretch until it looks smooth and shiny.

To shape the cheese, lift the cheese out of the water and roll it into a tight ball. Pinch the bottom of the ball to seal the seam. The surface of the ball should be smooth and shiny.

Place the form balls into an ice-water bath to cool. If more flavor is desired, salt can be added to the water bath.

Wrap finished mozzarella balls highly in plastic wrap. Serve within 24 hours for optimum flavor and texture.

*Mozzarella curd is available at specialty cheese shops, or on the web at www.goldenagecheese.com.

Grilled Caprese Sandwiches

Yield: 4 sandwiches
Prep time: 10 minutes
Grill time: 4 minutes

8 slices Italian Bread
¼ cup fresh basil leaves, stems removed
2 tablespoons pine nuts
¼ cup Mazola® Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 roma tomatoes, sliced
8 ounces fresh mozzarella, sliced
Salt & pepper to taste

 

Combine the basil and pine nuts in a food processor and pulse until coarsely chopped. Add the oil and process until fully incorporated and smooth.

Brush pesto mixture on one side of each slice of bread. Layer tomatoes on 4 slices and add salt and pepper to taste. Top with mozzarella slices and remaining bread slices; firmly press sandwiches together.

On a preheated grill over medium high heat, place sandwiches on an angle and cover (close grill cover if grilling outside or use either a pan lid or a metal bowl, inverted, if grilling inside). Cook 2 minutes, rotate 90° and continue cooking an additional 2 minutes, covered. Flip sandwiches over and repeat process as above. Serve on a bed of leafy greens, if desired.

Grilled Caprese Sandwiches

Buon Appetito!

 


This one is for all my gluten free and vegetarian friends…an easy and very flavorful side dish, or even as a main meal.

Spaghetti squash (also called vegetable spaghetti, noodle squash, vegetable marrow, spaghetti marrow, and squaghetti) is a group of cultivars of Cucurbita pepo subsp. pepo.[1] The fruit can range either from ivory to yellow or orange in color. The orange varieties have a higher carotene content. Its center contains many large seeds. Its flesh is bright yellow or orange. When raw, the flesh is solid and similar to other raw squash; when cooked, the flesh falls away from the fruit in ribbons or strands like spaghetti.

Spaghetti Squash

Spaghetti Squash

You will need:

1 2lb. spaghetti squash
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, plus additional oil for drizzling over squash
½ onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
salt & freshly ground black pepper
red pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
1 tablespoon fresh basil, chopped
¼ cup parmesan cheese
1 14.5 ounce can petite diced tomatoes, strained & rinsed
2 tablespoons Panko Breadcrumbs

Using a sharp knife, cut the squash in half, lengthwise, scoop out and discard the seeds from center of the squash.  Place squash cut side down in a microwavable pan.  Add 1 inch of water to the pan.  Cover the squash with plastic wrap, microwave for 10 minutes.DSC_0045

Meanwhile, in a small skillet over medium heat, add olive oil.  When oil is hot add chopped onion, garlic, salt, pepper and red pepper flakes (to taste), cook over medium low heat until onion is soft, about 5 minutes.  DSC_0050

When cooked, remove squash from microwave.  Place squash on a cutting board; use a fork to remove the strands of the “spaghetti” squash, place in a mixing bowl.DSC_0051 DSC_0055

Add chopped parsley, basil, parmesan cheese, tomatoes, salt and freshly ground black pepper to spaghetti squash.  Mix until combined.  Fill each squash skin with mixture, divided evenly.

DSC_0062

Top each half with 1 tablespoon Panko bread crumbs.  Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil (if desired).  Place squash in a preheated 350° oven, bake for 15-20 minutes or until squash is golden brown.  DSC_0065 Buon Appetito!!!

DSC_0071 DSC_0074

 

 

 

Baked Stuffed Spaghetti Squash


Thank you all for supporting my blog…2014 in review. 2015 will be even bigger and better!

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 11,000 times in 2014. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 4 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.


Spinach Ravioli, Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Pancetta Butter Sauce

Spinach Ravioli, Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Pancetta Butter Sauce

This is my favorite Christmas dinner Italian course and has become a tradition for more than 10 years.  I always love the bright red color of the sun-dried tomatoes combined with the green spinach filling of the pillows, aka ravioli, with a touch of fresh basil.  So festive.  If you do not have the time to make you own ravioli, another tradition, you can always purchase some fresh spinach ravioli at your local grocery store.  This sauce is made in about 5 minutes time.  I pair this with a beef tenderloin with a mushroom wine reduction sauce, Dauphinoise Potatoes, and some fresh haricot vert, blanched and sautéed with lemon infused olive oil.  This years dinner will be complete with a festive Peppermint Cheesecake, recipe forthcoming.

 

Pasta Dough:
3 large eggs
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt
(for red pasta dough, add 1 tablespoon tomato paste and omit the salt)

Ravioli filling:
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1 (10-ounce) bag spinach, stems removed
salt & pepper to taste
1 (15-ounce) container ricotta cheese
1 large egg
¼ cup parmesan cheese, grated
1 cup shredded mozzarella

Sun-Dried Tomato-Pancetta Butter:
1 (4 ounce) package thinly sliced pancetta, coarsely chopped
½ stick butter
¼ cup sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil, diced
½ teaspoon finely chopped fresh thyme
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 teaspoons fresh basil, chopped, for garnish

See my blog for directions on how to make the pasta dough, spinach filling, and forming the ravioli.

https://foodsinthefastlane.me/2011/12/04/spinach-and-ricotta-cheese-filled-ravioli

To make the sauce, place the chopped pancetta in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Cook until crisp and brown, about 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, removed the pancetta to a paper towel to drain. Add butter, sun-dried tomatoes, thyme, and black pepper to skillet and cook over medium heat until butter is melted. Add reserved pancetta, toss sauce with cooked ravioli. Top ravioli with fresh basil and freshly grated parmesan cheese, if desired.

Merry Christmas, Happy New Year and Bon Appetito!!!

Spinach Filled Ravioli with Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Pancetta Butter Sauce



2015 Galena’s Cucina Calendars

Just in time for the holidays, the perfect gift for that “foodie” in your life.  Monthly recipes along with beautiful photos.  Now available for ordering, first 25 orders will receive a free recipe collection. Special price of $12.95 plus shipping and handling.

Deliveries will be available after November 20, 2014.  Click on the “Order Form” to place your order.

Order Form

Galena's Cucina 2015 Calendars

Galena’s Cucina 2015 Calendars