Sunday, March 21, 2010

Mar 21st - Artichoke and Sundried Tomato Ravioli in Puttanesca Sauce

We bought some fresh Artichoke and Sundried Tomato Ravioli at the First Ravioli store on Commmercial on Saturday. The pasta was bright red and green broad stripes. The filling looked ample. That said, having had it, the filling did seem rather bland so I am glad we chose to use a bold sauce. I definitely preferred the Porcini ravioli.

Did you know that this sauce is named after the 'ladies of the night'? I speak a couple of latin based languages and I never put that together until tonight. It does not have a long culinary history; said to have been invented in the 50s. A chef was told to make any sort of 'worthless garbage' for his hungry friends. The pejorative term for a whore (Puttana) is used interchangeably with worthless. It does not have the sort of trendy 5th ave flavour of the month I thought it had. I like this sort of gritty history better.

Simple Quick Puttanesca Sauce

1 T Olive Oil
4 cloves of Garlic, minced
1/2 t dried Oregano
1/2 t dried Basil

1/2 T dried Parsely
1 large can Italian Tomatoes, I used whole and either run a knife around the can or smush them with my hands in a bowl. I do not like mystery tomatoes of crushed tomatoes when I can avoid it.
1/2 cup Kalamata Olives, oil or brine cured, not salt cured, pitted and chopped
2 T Capers, drained, do not use salt cured or if you do, I would rinse them.
1/2 - 1 t hot chili flakes (optional garnish)

Heat the olive oil in a large sautee pan. Add the garlic and brown slightly... slightly. This goes quick so when you start to smell a nuttiness, lower the heat or add the Tomatoes. Now you can squash them now or as I do, pour them in a bowl and smush them with clean hands. You want to leave them chunky though.

Add the herbs and the Olives and Capers. Season with Salt and Pepper. Simmer for 10-15 minutes minimum. Or covered for an hour if you want the flavours to really marry. Carefull with the seasoning as there is alot of salt in the olives and capers already.

Serve over pasta with freshly grated parmesan. Gorgeous.

We're drinking a Pirra Mimma Petit Verdot 2005. As I tweeted, it is like hip high chocolate brown suede boots. Dark, sexy luxury. Wonderful! Perfect with a Red Sauce.

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