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Spaghetti alla Puttanesca (with or without Tuna)

So, it's been a long time since I've had a Pasta Puttanesca.  Whore's Pasta.  Working Girl's Pasta.  Slut's Spaghetti.  You've all heard the origins, right?  It's quick and easy and spicy and...worth it.  So, it's fun to to to talk about.  I sat down to chip away at a few of the shows built up on my DVR the other day, and I just happened to watch the episode of Extra Virgin when Gabriele and Debi were planning their respective Bachelor and Bachelorette parties before their vow renewal ceremony is Tuscany. Ahhh, dreamy.  I just love those two.  Well, Gabriele made Spaghetti alla Puttanesca for his party (Debi made Tiramisu).  Of course it started my tastebuds a-tingling.  Then I sat down to flip through some Jamie books and figure out what I could make for "Something Fishy" over at IHCC this week.  Honestly, my cupboards were pretty bare...but I did have everything I needed to make one dish.  Spaghetti alla Puttanesca.  Un Signo.  Jamie suggested using a puttanesca that added tuna.  While fresh tuna wasn't one of the items in my bare cupboard...canned tuna was.  I liked it with canned tuna, but I know I would have adored it with a freshly grilled tuna steak.  Next time.

Spaghetti alla Puttanesca
(with or without tuna)
inspired by Gabriele Corcos (Extra Virgin)  & Jamie Oliver (Jamie's Dinners)
serves ~4

~12 oz. whole wheat spaghetti
olive oil
4 anchovies
2 garlic cloves, sliced paper thin
small handful Kalamata olives, smooshed w/ your thumb a bit
small handful capers, rinsed
crushed red chile flakes, to taste
~ 1# tomatoes, concasse (peel, seed, & small diced) or 1 (14.5 oz) can petite-diced tomatoes, drained
fresh parsley, chopped
freshly ground black pepper
parmesan, optional

Tuna (1 streak per person), fresh grilled/cooked to your liking (best option), but you can use good canned tuna, drained 

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook pasta until al dente.  In the meantime, Heat a couple glugs of olive oil in a large, slope-sided nonstick skillet.  Add anchovies and let them cook a minute or so until they start to melt into the oil.  Add garlic, olives and capers and sauté for another minute or so and then throw in the red chile flakes and let cook another 30 seconds.  Add tomatoes, turn down the heat a bit and let everything simmer together for ~10 minutes.  When you drain the pasta, set aside about a cup or so of the cooking water, then add the pasta right into the skillet and toss everything around.  Pour in some...or all...of the reserved water and let everything cook together for another 5 minutes or so.  Throw in the parsley and season with freshly ground black pepper.  You shouldn't need salt because the anchovies, capers, and olives probably added enough...but taste and decide for yourself.  Toss everything together and divide amongst plates.  Shave some fresh Parmesan over each dish.  Drizzle with a little more olive oil.

If you are using tuna, season with a bit of salt and pepper, rub with a bit of olive oil, then grill (or sauté, whatever you wish) the tuna steaks to your liking.  Set a whole steak atop or aside each portion...or pull them apart a bit and scatter the pieces over the pasta.  You can use canned.  I tried that- not quite the same, but still decent.  I'd go big or go home on this one.
Our theme at IHCC this week is Something's Fishy.

I am also sharing this post with:
*Kirstin at From Kirstin's Kitchen to Yours who is hosting PPN this week.
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