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Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Paleo Pasta Puttanesca Recipe- With Paleo and Non Paleo Options

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As I mentioned earlier, I am doing a pantry challenge of sorts and I have a ton of anchovies in my cupboard that I want to use up. I figured out some really yummy recipes using them including pissaladieres but the thing is, I really am trying to stick predominantly to a paleo diet, which means I shouldn't be eating too many of those pissaladieres (and the problem with those is they are so delicious that I want to down the whole batch in one go when I do make them).
So, a friend of mine recommended what she calls "slutty pasta", or what is officially called "pasta puttanesca" (which truly does mean pasta in the style of prostitutes) for reasons that I am not 100% sure (it appears there is a debate about the origin of the name), but whatever the reason, the fact that it is easy and delicious is a big draw to this recipe.
I knew that I could easily make this recipe paleo friendly, just by using spiralized zucchini instead of pasta- and it really tastes amazing. It is super easy to make, other than the spiralizing the zucchini, which also is easy to do if you have a spiralizer- assuming you don't need to fight with your toddler over who actually turns the handle, as happens in my house regularly, which makes this a touch harder to make. But even when the spiralizing trouble, this still has become my go-to recipe when I need something easy and delicious to eat, assuming I'm not out of zucchini.
If you don't have a spiralizer, you can use grated zucchini for this, though it is less "fun" since it doesn't look like spaghetti. Still tastes great though.
And if you're not paleo, you can just use regular pasta or gluten free pasta or whatever other type of pasta alternative you'd like in place of the spiralized zucchini.

I used my foraged capers the first time I made this, but quickly ran out of my own homemade foraged pickled capers, so from then on I used store bought. (It tasted better when made with mine.) If you have a lot of homemade capers, though, you can use them in place of olives (add them to taste). And if you don't have capers, just increase the amount of olives.
To be honest, as much as I wrote a precise recipe here, it is flexible- you can adjust most of the ingredients, more or less to taste, and it'll still be terrific.
I have used a variety of fish types with this recipe to up the protein content, the cheapest of them all being meat from my super cheap salmon heads, along with tuna fish, sardines, etc... but to keep the cost down you can leave those out. Or to add protein (but it won't be paleo anymore) you can also add cooked lentils or chickpeas to the sauce.

Have fun with this. Imagine it more as a base for greatness than an exact science.

Paleo Pasta Puttanesca Recipe- With Paleo and Non Paleo Options

Ingredients:
2 tablespoons oil (olive oil ideally for flavor, but to keep cost down, feel free to use another oil)
1 large onion
2 garlic cloves
1-2 cans anchovies (to taste)
1/2 cup packed green or black olives
1-2 tablespoons capers
1 cup tomato paste
1-1 1/2 cups water
2-3 teaspoons dried oregano
1-2 teaspoons dried parsley (optional)
Ground black pepper or red pepper flakes to taste
1-2 large zucchinis (or cooked pasta)
Salt to taste
1-3 cans sardines or other cooked fish (I've used cans of tuna, meat from my deboned salmon heads, and white fish also works)- optional
Nutritional yeast to taste- optional- or Parmesan cheese if you aren't paleo.

Instructions:
1. Chop your onion and garlic and saute it up in your oil until starting to brown.

2. Add your anchovies, tomato paste, and water and mix well.

3. Add the olives, capers, oregano, and parsley and cook for a few minutes.

4. Spiralize your zucchini with a spiralizer, or grate it with a grater.

5. Sprinkle salt on your zucchini and let it sit for a few minutes, to draw out the water and soften the zucchini.

6. Rinse off the zucchini and squeeze out excess water.

7. Add the zucchini to your hot sauce, along with the cooked fish, then add salt and pepper to taste. You may cook it for another minute or two, but it may overcook the zucchini- I usually serve mine immediately and find that the hot sauce is enough to heat up the zucchini without actually cooking it, and then the texture is perfect, but if you want to heat it for longer, you can, it will just affect the texture.

8. Serve hot, sprinkled with nutritional yeast or Parmesan cheese if desired.

Enjoy!

Ever had pasta puttanesca? How do you make it? Does this look like a recipe you'd try out?

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