Saturday, February 9, 2013

Zucchini Spaghetti Puttanesca

Zucchini Spaghetti Puttanesca

It was so cold last night that we decided to stay in. I feel guilty saying that since cold is a relative term and the Northeast is being pummeled by a brutal storm.  But to our blood, low 40's - high 30's is very cold.  The comfort food - oriented dinner ahead was to be zucchini spaghetti with my favorite puttanesca sauce, bursting with flavor from garlic, anchovies, chilies, olives and a nice bottle of cabernet.  In order to make this dish, you need one of these gadgets. It is worth the $40 investment as it allows you to enjoy your favorite pasta sauces while giving yourself the occasional break from pasta. 

Skipping the pasta, I gave myself permission to turn those two pieces of leftover naan in my refrigerator into a sort of garlic bread. {recipe below}

I thought this was a stellar dinner, but of course you be the judge. 

Stay warm!

Zucchini Spaghetti Puttanesca

4 - 5 extra large zucchinis {*}
1 t minced garlic
1 generous T + 1 generous t capers, drained
2 generous T + 2 generous t sliced kalamata olives 
12 anchovy fillets {patted dry to remove oil and salt}, roughly chopped
3 small dried chilies, crumbled {you can use crushed red pepper flakes, but you will get more heat and flavor by using whole dried peppers and their seeds - I used chipotles but any spicy red pepper will do}
1 T dried oregano
extra virgin olive oil
2 14 oz cans of chopped San Marzano tomatoes, drained slightly
a handful of fresh basil leaves
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

If you are using the gadget to make zucchini pasta, choose the medium size blade to get a spaghetti size "noodle". Set noodles aside in a serving dish. Otherwise, prepare your real pasta noodles al dente.

In a frying pan, add a few drizzles of olive oil - just enough to lightly coat the pan and prevent sticking.  Add the garlic, capers, olives, anchovies, chilies and oregano. Saute over medium heat for a few minutes. Add the tomatoes and simmer for a few minutes.  When the sauce starts bubbling and popping, turn the heat to low.  Simmer for 5 minutes. Add basil, taste and correct seasoning. Divide noodles among 4 plates and then spoon desired amount of sauce over the noodles. Mix and then drizzle with a tiny bit of olive oil.

Serves 3-4

{For the garlic bread, I melted 2 T of butter and stirred in 1 T minced garlic. Then I spooned that mixture  over 2 pieces of naan and finished with a layer of grated parmesan cheese.  I baked the naan on a sheet pan at 350 degrees  for about 7 minutes, just long enough for the bread to be warm and the cheese to have melted. Then came a sprinkling of fresh chopped chives}.

{* this depends on how much sauce you like.  we like a fairly generous amount, so my yield of 10 cups of zucchini noodles served us well}

Serves 4.

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Source:  Puttanesca sauce, The Naked Chef 2, Jamie Oliver

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