Rediscovering My Library

by Cate on August 18, 2006

I had zero motivation to cook today; just wiped out, so I wanted to keep it simple for dinner. For this week’s Rediscovering My Library, I turned to a cookbook that I think The Husband gave me last year for my birthday, Firehouse Food: Cooking with San Francisco’s Firefighters. I’ve never used this one, and it’s about time I did. At over 200 pages, there’s a color photograph on nearly every page. Filled with all sorts of recipes, from the easy to more involved, the chapters cover Salads & Soups, Main Dishes, Sides and Desserts. Recipes include Slug Salad (the Department’s signature dish), Tortilla Soup, Oxtail Ossobuco, Red Gumbo, Skillet Paella, California Chicken Paella, Carrot Banana Cake, San Francisco Chocolate Chip Cookies and much more.

I felt like having spaghetti tonight, keeping a simple meal even simpler, and went with their recipe for Pasta Puttanesca. Puttanesca sauce is like chili — everyone has their own recipe for it, from Ellie Krieger, Michael Chiarello, and Mario Batali to Jamie Oliver, Rachael Ray and many more. Pasta Puttanesca is a perfect weeknight recipe, because I’d be willing to bet you have most, if not all, of the ingredients in your kitchen already. This recipe was excellent and easy to make, hitting the table in about 35 minutes. A semi-thick sauce that clung to the linguine, a nice salty tang from the olives and capers … perfect. With the additions of the oregano and parsley, it makes a perfect contribution to Kalyn’s Weekend Herb Blogging event, which is hosted by Anthony’s Kitchen this week.

I’m skipping this weeks’ New (to Me) Blogger on the Block … honestly, I couldn’t find one that spoke to me today. I’m sure it’s out there, but I’m tired and my pillow is calling me, so I’ll leave you with the recipe for tonight’s dinner.

Until tomorrow…

A year ago today … another spaghetti dinner.

P.S. While looking for a recipe in a cookbook yesterday, I stumbled upon the “perfect” recipe to make this weekend (either tomorrow or Saturday). It is very reminiscent of what is my favorite “cruise cocktail.” First person to correctly tell me what it is, in the comments section, wins a cookbook off my shelf.

Pasta Puttanesca
Serves 6
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
5 cloves garlic, chopped
1 can (28 ounces) whole plum tomatoes, chopped
1 cup mixed olives, pitted and diced
4 teaspoons drained capers, chopped
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1 pound linguini
1 can (2 ounces) anchovy fillets, drained and chopped
1/4 cup chopped Italian parsley
ground black pepper
Parmesan cheese

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat, about 2 minutes. Crush the tomatoes with your hands and add them, with their liquid, to the skillet. Add the olives, capers, red pepper flakes and oregano. Bring mixture to boil and reduce heat to low. Simmer 30 minutes, stirring from time to time.

Once the sauce has simmered about 20 minutes, start the water for the pasta. Cook the pasta according to package directions, drain and put in serving bowl.

When ready to serve, stir in the anchovies and parsley into the sauce and cook for 1 minute. Season to taste with pepper. Pour the sauce over the pasta, toss to combine, and serve immediately. Pass cheese at table.

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{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

Anonymous August 18, 2006 at 12:52 pm

I know, I know. But I guess since I was there when you were drinking it, it’s really not fair.

Come on people….We even took a picture of it.


wheresmymind August 18, 2006 at 1:45 pm

RR’s sauce has to be “Open 3 cans of something, make some sorta burger” and you are done! 30 minutes or less! hehe


Joan August 18, 2006 at 2:09 pm

I will guess Pina Colada but don’t know what recipe you will be using – maybe a Pina Colada salad?


Dani August 18, 2006 at 7:16 pm

I would say Strawberry Coladas – I can remember the picture you posted way back in February.


Heather August 18, 2006 at 10:21 pm

yeah I would have guessed strawberry daquiris, but that maybe Nicholas’ favorite.


Cate August 18, 2006 at 10:28 pm

Anonymous – no, definitely not fair. ;)

Wheresmymind – hey, the simpler, the better, right?

Joan – so close!

Dani – ding, ding, ding – we have a winner. Send me your addy and the cookbook is yours.

Heather – he fell in love with virgin Strawberry Coladas on the cruise. There’s only 25 cents difference between the alcoholic version and the non-alcoholic one, can you believe that?!


genevieve August 19, 2006 at 12:16 pm

bloody mary


Kalyn August 22, 2006 at 1:00 am

The pasta recipe sounds great. My garden is overflowing with tomatoes so I need to start making sauce to freeze.


Ruth August 22, 2006 at 2:58 am

Such a lovely dish. I just made some recently myself. It was the first time I got my husband to eat anchovies – if he only knew!!


gattina August 22, 2006 at 9:08 am

a bit of spicy, a bit of salty… I really love your pasta!


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