Pasta Puttanesca

Pasta PuttanescaPasta Puttanesca, try saying that 5 times fast!

We like to eat vegetarian meals, especially during the summer months.  The vegetables are  in abundance during this time of year.   This is the best time to get your kids to try new dishes, when the veggies are oh so tasty.   I love visiting a farmers market or vegetable stand on the side of the road.   Fresh veggies are the best!

When I came across this recipe my kids were really excited because they had heard about this dish in a movie.  If you are a fan of the Lemony Snicket books or the Series of Unfortunate Events books and movie then you will have heard of this dish.  In the book the Baudelaire orphans Violet, Klaus and Sunny, are forced to make dinner, on very short notice, for their mean uncle, Count Olaf.  They go into the very disgustingly dirty kitchen to find that there are hardly any ingredients to work with.  Klaus, who loves to read, and remembers everything that he has ever read, remembers that the word Puttanesca means few ingredients.  I looked up the recipe and the word and that is not the definition that I got.  Doesn’t matter my kids were excited to try something new.  The traditional Italian recipe includes anchovies.  You can find that recipe here.

I love to make this dish in the summer because it requires very little cooking.  We do not have air conditioning in our home so I make the pasta in the morning while it is still cool outside and the house has time to cool down.  I will heat up the pasta when it is needed by running it under hot water.


1 package (16 oz) pasta of your choice 1 1/2 pounds tomatoes, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1 medium shallot, minced (about 1/4 cup) 1 garlic clove, crushed with garlic press
2 Tablespoons olive oil 2 Tablespoons capers, drained and chopped
1 Tablespoon red wine vinegar 1/2 teaspoon grated fresh lemon peel
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper 8 oz of fresh baby spinach, coarsely chopped
1 cup packed fresh basil leaves, chopped  

Step 1:  In large saucepot, cook pasta as package directs.  Drain.

Step 2:  Meanwhile, in large serving bowl, toss tomatoes with shallot, garlic, oil, capers, vinegar, lemon peel, and crushed red pepper until well mixed.

Step 3:  Add pasta to tomato mixture and toss to combine.  Just before serving, gently toss warm pasta mixture with spinach and basil until greens are slightly wilted.

If your kids are old enough you may want to have a dinner and movie night with Pasta Puttanesca and the movie Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events.

beckyA Mom Knows Contributor

About Becky

I am a stay at home mom to 2 teenagers. I have a 20 year old daughter and a 17 year old son, and a husband who is just a big kid at heart. I teach piano lessons from my home. I am going back to college and sometimes wonder if I am crazy for doing this. I absolutely love anything and everything crafty. I especially love to stamp, crochet and sew.

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