There really is nothing better in this world than a simple pasta dinner with a nice bottle of wine, garlic bread and some good company. Well there is winning the lotto but there’s not much chance of that is there? Get cooking.
There are a number of stories about the origins of puttanesca sauce, the raciest being that a Puttana, or Lady of the Evening, could cook it in the time it took her to take care of a client, and enjoy it while recovering from her exertions. Whatever, it is good.
2/3 cup pitted black olives, sliced
4 boned anchovy fillets
2 cloves of garlic
3 tablespoons olive oil or butter
1 tablespoon rinsed salted capers or rinsed and drained capers in vinegar, minced
Three or four ripe plum tomatoes, finely sliced
Salt and pepper to taste
A pound of spaghetti
Chop the garlic and sauté it in the oil with the anchovies, stirring the mixture about to break up the anchovies. When the garlic’s lightly browned, add the olives, capers, and tomatoes. Check seasoning. Simmer the sauce for fifteen minutes, stirring occasionally. Meanwhile, cook the pasta. Stir the sauce into the pasta and serve.
Spaghetti Aio Oio
Spaghetti aio oio, one of the most classic Roman dishes, is the one dish that all Italians know how to make. It's also quite popular as a late night snack among friends, say after a night out at the theater or when you are totally shit faced.
1-2 cloves of garlic, minced, or more to taste
½ a dried chili pepper, crumbled, or more to taste (don't overdo it, and fresh hot peppers, will be fine too)
1/3 cup good olive oil
1 pound spaghetti
Grated Parmigiano or Pecorino Romano (optional)
Bring 6 quarts of lightly salted water to a boil and add the spaghetti. Meanwhile, mince the garlic, crumble the red pepper, and sauté them in the oil until the garlic begins to brown. Turn off the heat (the garlic will continue to brown; you don't want it to over brown and become bitter).
When the spaghetti are done, drain them well, transfer them to a bowl, and stir the sauce into them. Serve with grated Parmigiano or Pecorino Romano on the side; some people like it, including some Romans, whereas others, especially traditionalist Romans, shudder at the idea.
Roasted Garlic Bread
"A very easy recipe for garlic bread that is made with roasted garlic, butter and Parmesan cheese."
3 bulbs garlic
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 (1 pound) loaf Italian bread
½ cup butter 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Slice the tops off of the garlic bulbs so that the tip of each clove is exposed.
Place the bulbs on a baking sheet, and drizzle with olive oil.
Bake for 30 minutes, or until garlic is soft.
Set the oven to broil. Slice the loaf of bread in half horizontally, and place cut side up on a baking sheet.
Squeeze the cloves of garlic from their skins into a medium bowl. Stir in the butter, parsley, and Parmesan cheese until well blended. Spread onto the cut sides of the bread.
Broil for about 5 minutes, until toasted.