Monday, 30 May 2011

Impure puttanesca

Since the name 'puttanesca' has certain interesting connotations, I don't feel too bad about messing with its purity. The traditional recipe involves anchovies, so a true purist would throw their hands up in horror at what I just made. That's their problem. ;) If you want a vegan puttanesca that hasn't been messed with quite so much, try this. It was the recipe I had in mind when buying the olives and capers the other day, but when I came to make it tonight I couldn't resist the allure of vegetables that need using up. And impurity turned out to taste good...

-Three mushrooms
-Two smallish red peppers
-A few green (French?) beans
-Two or three cloves of garlic, crushed
-A dozen or so olives, cut in half
-Two teaspoons of capers
-A standard tin of tomatoes
-Olive oil
-Chilli flakes
-Cayenne pepper

Heat the olive oil on high (it should cover the bottom of the pan) and add the chilli flakes. Turn it down.
Cook the mushrooms in olive oil over a medium heat. (I NEVER EVER want to bite into a raw mushroom in any situation that has an alternative other than starvation - hence the mushrooms always go in first!) Mushrooms can be a bit absorbent, add extra oil if necessary.
Add the peppers and green beans, then the garlic, olives and capers. It's fine, nay great, if some of the liquid from these things gets in.
Stir in the tomatoes, a small amount of cayenne pepper (half a teaspoon or so) and a larger (maybe a teaspoon) amount of paprika. Rinse out the tomato can with clean cold water and add that to the contents of the pan.
Simmer for 40 minutes or so. If it seems a bit too runny add tomato puree to thicken.

This made four servings (two each for two people) with a decent quantity of fusilli.

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