I love the New York Times Cooking website. The authors and chefs inspire me to think outside of my cooking comfort zone and as a result, I have explored foods and regional recipes that I may have never thought to do.
While the recipes are fantastic in their own rite, I feel compelled to amend and alter them…I cannot help myself. I strongly suggest you subscribe to the daily/weekly emails for fun and inspiration. The nominal subscription fee is well worth the wealth of knowledge you will acquire, all the while, you are creating and building your own recipe box.
This week, I came upon a wonderful recipe from colu henry, a masterful writer and recipe developer. Her recipe for Blond Puttanesca (Linguine with Tuna, Arugula and Capers) captivated me. I took some liberty with her ingredients and preparation, but I thank her tremendously for the inspiration.
Author’s note: Ironically, almost a year ago to the day, I posted a recipe for Mother-in-law Tongues a la Puttanesca. Give that a try as well. It was yummy.
What you need:
- 10-12 ounces Pappardelle
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoons of pine nuts
- 3 artichoke hearts chopped (I prefer the cans not the jars with oil.)
- ½ teaspoon red-pepper flakes, plus more for serving if desired
- 10 anchovies, roughly chopped
- 3 tablespoons capers, rinsed well if salt-packed
- 5 ounces baby arugula or other young greens, such as pea shoots or kale
- (6-ounce) jar oil-packed Italian tuna, drained and flaked
- ¼ cup chopped Italian parsley, plus more for serving if desired
- Black pepper
- Maldon flaky sea salt, for serving (optional)
- ½ lemon for squeezing
What to do:
Bring a large pot of well-salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook until it is just under al dente. Time will depend on the product, usually about 6-9 minutes. DO NOT DRAIN, you will need the pasta cooking water later on.
While pasta cooks, make the sauce: Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Add garlic and red-pepper flakes and cook until garlic is pale golden, about 1 minute. Add the pine nuts and artichoke hearts along with the anchovies and capers and cook until anchovies have melted, and capers begin to brown slightly, about 1 to 2 minutes.
Turn heat down to medium. Ladle a 1/2 cup of reserved pasta water into the skillet and bring mixture to a simmer. Cook until mixture is reduced by about half, about 2 to 3 minutes.
Add in arugula and ladle in an additional 1/2 cup of pasta water, tossing together until wilted. Increase heat to medium-high and scoop pasta directly into the skillet tossing with sauce until well coated.
Add tuna to pasta and toss again until it is just warmed just through, about 1 minute. Ladle in an additional 1/4 cup pasta water or more, to loosen up sauce and toss again.
Sprinkle parsley over pasta and squeeze the lemon juice over the mixture, tossing as you go. You can add more red pepper flakes to taste.
Ms. Henry suggests, “If you want to go the extra mile, roughly chopped green pitted olives would be a nice addition, as would topping the dish with toasted panko breadcrumbs tossed with lemon zest.”
Serve in bowls keeping the heaping pasta warm and fragrant. Season with salt and pepper and of course, I topped this spectacular dish with a little grated Locatelli Cheese. (who doesn’t love cheese?)
We served this with Falanghina, an Italian wine suggested by Ms. Henry. Quite lovely.
Questo è il più vicino al paradiso che puoi ottenere!
(This is as close to heaven as you can get!) Google Translate.