Saturday, March 12, 2011

March 11: Sardine and Bread Crumb Pasta with Puttanesca Salad

1 pound linguine, fresh or dried, cooked al dente in salted water
4 vine-ripe tomatoes, seeded and chopped
1/2 red onion, chopped
3 tablespoons capers
1/2 cup kalamata olives, pitted and coarsely chopped
6 anchovies (1 tin of flat fillets), chopped
3/4 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley tops, divided, half coarsely chopped, half finely chopped
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
12 to 15 fresh basil leaves, cut or torn into a chiffonade
   Coarse salt and coarse black pepper, to taste
8 garlic cloves, chopped
1 1/2 cups bread crumbs
2 4-ounce tins of sardines, drained and chopped
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

While the pasta cooks, combine the tomatoes, onions, capers, olives, anchovies, and the coarsely chopped parsley in a medium bowl. Dress with the lemon juice and a healthy drizzle of EVOO - enough to lightly coat the salad (1 to 2 tablespoons). Sprinkle in the basil and salt and pepper, toss again, and adjust the seasonings.

Preheat a large, deep skillet over medium heat. To the hot pan, add the 1/4 cup of EVOO (4 times around the pan), and half the chopped garlic cloves. When the garlic speaks by sizzling in the oil, add the bread crumbs. Stir the bead crumbs until they are deeply golden in color. Add the finely chopped parsley and a liberal amount of salt and coarse black pepper.  Transfer the bread crumbs to a dish and reserve.

Return the same skillet to the heat and add the 3 tablespoons of EVOO, 3 times around the pan. Add the remaining garlic, the sardines, and red pepper flakes to the pan and saute over medium heat for 2 or 3 minutes. Add the hot, cooked pasta to the skillet and toss with the sardines. Add the bread crumbs to the pot and toss thoroughly to combine and evenly distribute the mixture. Taste to adjust seasonings and serve with the puttanesca salad alongside.


I did not make this meal this time, but I have made it before. My DH requested baked potatoes (since Friday nights are his comfort food nights), so that's what we ate for dinner instead. I remember not liking this recipe very much, so I was ok with it. I guess it's just because the sauce on the pasta was dry and not saucy. I think it's supposed to be that way, but it was just weird for me. I think the salad was tasty, but very pungent. I might try it again sometime and see if it's any better than I remember it. Sorry I don't have any pictures today!

I changed the recipe because she listed cooked pasta in the ingredient list, then writes out how to cook the pasta in the instructions. So I just omitted that part. You don't need to cook the pasta twice!

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