Last July, I waded through my kitchen. Half packed boxes, misplaced serving bowls, and an overabundance of fruit that would never become jam. My phone rang and I jumped to escape the clutter of a new move.
A mom from a local school was calling to check when she should deliver her meal. Her what? I'd forgotten all about last spring's auction where we had won three homemade meals from "around the world." We'd been out of town for the first and our favorite educator had gotten our Mexican meal instead. This month's meal was apparently Italian which thrilled me as there are a lot of vegetarian options in Italian cooking. The donor/chef threw out several different choices and we landed on puttanesca because I have a penchant for spicy!
A week later, our doorbell rang and a stranger with two teenage girls came bearing gifts. Pasta. Homemade puttanesca sauce. Salad. Bruscetta. Gelatto. Wine. And written recipes for all. Thank God because her puttanesca sauce, also known as the much saucier name of Streetwalkers' Stew, has become a favorite recipe in the Green Bean family.
I use the base and then adapt it like crazy to accommodate CSA offerings, seasonal veggies from the farmers' market, and whatever I've got in the cupboard. The pictured dish included CSA broccoli, CSA canned pickled tomatoes (drained), CSA canned spicy tomato sauce, dried basil (fresh is not in season yet), black olives (no green in the pantry!). It was so satisfying that Mr. Green Bean helped himself to seconds - almost unheard of in this home.
BASIC RECIPE ADAPTED FROM THE ORIGINAL:
1 Tablespoon of olive oil or spray a large skillet with olive oil spray
1/4 - 1/2 tsp crushed red chili flakes
4-5 cloves of minced fresh garlic
15-32 ounces of canned tomatoes
1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped fine (if out of season, swap 1-2 tablespoons dried basil)
1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley (I only use this if I happen to have it in the fridge)
10 black olives, sliced
10 green olives sliced
1-2 tablespoons capers
1 tsp dried oregano
1 cup dry white wine (can use red if out of white)
In a large skillet, heat olive oil, garlic and chili flakes for 2 minutes. Add tomatoes, any additional vegetables (which should be chopped), herbs and simmer for 20 minutes. Add olives, capers and wine (never forget the wine!!!). Simmer for 5 more minutes.
Serve over pasta or eat straight from the pan!
See more Meatless Monday recipes and ideas over at Manic Monday Meatless Monday Carnival.