Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Whore's Pasta

This is not a food blog, I promise. But periodically I get going in the kitchen and come up with something really good so I've decided to share when a treasure comes along. 

My sister and I watched the film Julie-Julia while I was in Minnesota in December and it so inspired us that we printed off Julia Child's recipe for    boeuf bourguignon and went at it. We had a great time because we were doing it together and the house smelled so good...all day. That's because it took all day to make it!  There are times when "all day" is okay but really not very often.

Here in the south of France there are many traditional recipes that just scream "Provence" like bouillabaisse, ratatouille and petits farcis. The common thread in Provençal cooking is the use of locally grown ingredients and here in the south we got 'em! Vegetables of all kinds, olives and olive oil, garlic, lemons, seafood, and herbs, in fact, the same ingredients used in a lot of Italian cooking.  Which follows. This is France but it is also the Mediterranean. 

So in keeping with this tradition, the other night I made my version of Puttanesca. This basically translates into Whore's Pasta. (There are several stories behind the name but I'll let you look them up). This is my version of the recipe because I used whatever I could find in the fridge and a few things that just needed to be used up....immediately!  It was delicious and only took about a half an hour. Sorry Julia!

So here's the recipe:


8 oz. cooked pasta ( I used fresh from the refrigerated section)
1/4 C. olive oil
2-3 cloves minced garlic
2 cans (the smaller size) chopped tomatoes (the recipe calls for 2 C. chopped tomatoes pushed through a sieve but I didn't have enough)
6 anchovy filets, rinsed and chopped
2 T. tomato paste
3-4 T. capers
20-30 olives (I used pitted Greek olives)
1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper
2 deboned chicken breasts (not traditional for this recipe)
feta cheese (also not traditional for this recipe)
1/2 pound or so of sliced mushrooms( guessed it....not traditional)

Cut the chicken into bite sized pieces and cook it in a little olive oil and a bit of garlic. Set it aside. In a skillet on medium heat, saute the garlic and mushrooms until...I guess until they're done. Add the anchovies, tomato paste, capers, olives, red pepper and tomatoes (if you're using fresh tomatoes add them before these items and cook about 5 minutes first).Add the chicken and let simmer for 10 to 15 minutes.

Serve on top of the pasta (cooked al dente) and sprinkle with feta and maybe little chopped parsley.

This can be a little salty because of the anchovies, olives and feta so don't add any until you've tasted it. The sauce is really flavorful so you won't need a lot of it. And whatever you think about anchovies, don't skip them. They're essential to the flavor.

So there you go...quick and easy. Not exactly French but Italy is only two hours away!

Oh yes, and if you try this, let me know what you think.

Bon Appétit!


  1. All right, I'm hooked...On your blog and on your recipes! Can't wait to make "Whore's Pasta"! Keep it up! Jayne

  2. Thanks Jayne. I'm so glad you are here with me and I'm anxious to see how you like the recipe...and of course everything else. I'm sure only family and friends are reading this so tell me...which Jayne are you???

  3. I guess I'm "Friend Jayne" or "EC Jayne"! Funny, but the girl next door calls me "Neighbor Jayne", and my granddaughter calls me "Ana Jayne". I guess I answer to all! Stay warm!

  4. Tonight Baersly made Puttanesca and it was delicious! The tomatoes are getting ahead of us the herbs are out of the garden and in the driveway. Don't know if you follow the really local news here but this is a record breaking growing season. The corn is at least 10 feet. I digress...the sauce was delicious and the plate as pretty as yours. Are your anchovies in a can? Thanks for the recipe. SB


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