Hello! How was your weekend?
Ben and I had what’s become a pretty standard Saturday and Sunday around these parts. I can’t remember a stretch in time over the past couple of years where we’ve had this many weekends in a row with no travel plans or prior commitments, and we’re loving laying low before the madness of the summer begins.
Happy hour on Friday’s usually rolls into catching up on our DVR Saturday morning (this season of Khloe & Lamar is cracking my ‘ish up!) over bowls of cereal. I’m currently obsessed with Quaker Whole Hearts. It’s really crunchy and sweet, but only has 6g of sugar per serving. Stupendous!
Afternoon errands come next, including a mandatory stop at Costco for “lunch” where I’ll undoubtedly run into a reader just as I am stuffing my face with a pork tenderloin sample (sorry!) Target or Walmart’s next where I usually find myself spending money on things I don’t really need like nail polish just because it’s on sale. (Hello $5 Essie!)
The past couple of weekends my parents have been babysitting Finn in the afternoon, so Ben and I usually swing by to say hello, make banana ice cream, and build pillow forts before heading home to chill for the night.
Sundays? Well, after prepping dinners for the week, not vacuuming, and indulging in either a Tabatha Takes Over, Restaurant Impossible, or House Hunters marathon, or toggling between all three, Ben and I will make an early supper together. This week – Pasta Puttanescaaaa!
Last week I was surfing Pinterest (shocking!) when I spotted a bright, beautiful plate of pasta out of the corner of my eye. I knew even before I clicked that it was a Pioneer Woman photo. I love how her pictures of food feel effortless, stand out in a crowd, and are are totally mouthwatering to look at.
At any rate, I clicked over and indeed, it was her recipe for Pasta Puttanesca!
Pasta Puttanesca is a Southern Italian pasta dish that combines mixed olives, anchovies (don’t you dare click that red x!) parmesan cheese, garlic and red onion for an incredibly flavorful dish that’s inexpensive, but totally impressive.
Start by chopping a heaping 1/2 cup mixed olives. The Pioneer Woman used a mortar and pestle to mash them up, but I just chopped them finely with a knife. A food processor would be great too.
Next, finely chop four anchovy filets. Anchovies are not fishy tasting. At least none that I’ve ever had. They just taste briny and super savory. You’d never know they were in this pasta dish, but are needed to achieve the correct Pasta Puttanesca flavor, ya dig?
Meanwhile, Ben crumbled up 4 ounces of parmesan cheese,
while I got the rest of the ingredients ready for the pasta. 1 1/2 cups halved grape tomatoes (wellll, maybe a little less – they’re so poppable!) and 1/2 sliced red onion.
From here the dish came together in less than 10 minutes. Add 8 ounces bucatini to boiling, salted water.
Bucatini is a hoot. It’s basically hollow spaghetti and when you slurp the strands up, wind whistles through ‘em like a straw. So much fun!
While the pasta cooks, brown the red onion in olive oil.
Add the tomatoes and cook for a couple minutes until they’re slightly softened.
Pour in 3/4 cup chicken broth then let it reduce for a couple more minutes, before adding in the chopped olives, anchovies, and 2 garlic cloves.
Finally, pour in the cooked and drained pasta, and 1/2 cup of the pasta cooking water.
Then top with the parm and toss.
Swirl onto a plate, sprinkle with fresh basil and slurp away!
This is a FABULOUS meatless main! The flavor of the olives and anchovies is so satisfying, and the tomatoes & basil were the best fresh contrast.
Ben and I both slurped this up (and giggled like 10 year old at the whistling pasta.)
Yet another win for the Pioneer Woman! Ben gets excited every time I make one of her recipes. They’re always such crowd pleasers, and are so easy to whip together. The woman can do no wrong!
In other news, who am I kidding? I’m off to vacuum.
Have a great night!
What “celebrity chef” do you cook similar to?
I adore Giada di Laurentiis, The Pioneer Woman and the Barefoot Contessa for their easy recipes that call for readily accessible and fresh ingredients. I totally identify with that type of cooking!