"Piehole" in Midwestern means "mouth," as in "Shut your piehole." Preferably we shut it on some tasty home cooking. We love to grow, market, buy, cook, bake and grill so we can feed our faces, chow down, pig out, scarf & whatnot. I'm a born Midwestern home cook posting foods and recipes that show up in front of me, because like all Midwesterners I eat what's put in front of me. Pull up a chair. What can I get you?

Saturday, March 23, 2013

My Favorite Pasta Sauce Recipe: Pasta a la Bandit

This fast and fragrant chunky pasta sauce made with a can of tomatoes along with butter, black olives and capers, is from a cookbook that a library sold me for 25 cents, called Cooking from an Italian Garden (1984). The recommended pasta is a long, hollow spaghetti called bucatini, which cooks in 11 minutes. Bucatini is hard to find here, so I ordered a 20-pound case directly from the DaVinci company. No kidding; I did. Substitute thick spaghetti and it will be fine.

Bucatini Briganteschi ("Highway-Robber Style") (serves 4 to 6)

2 Tablespoons butter
6 Tablespoons olive oil (divided)
1-1/2 cups (or one 14-oz can) diced tomatoes, undrained
1/4 teaspoon of crushed red pepper
1/4 cup pitted and chopped black Italian or kalamata olives
1 Tablespoon whole capers
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1 garlic clove, crushed or chopped
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or to taste (optional)
1 pound bucatini or thick spaghetti
3 Tablespoons freshly-grated Parmesan cheese
2 Tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

Place butter and 3 Tablespoons of olive oil in a saucepan and heat. Add the tomatoes and cook for 3 minutes. Add the hot pepper, capers, olives, oregano and garlic. Simmer, stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes or until sauce thickens. Add the black pepper, if desired, and keep warm.

Cook the pasta in 4 quarts of rapidly boiling salted water, stirring occasionally, until al dente. Drain and place in a warm serving bowl. Add the Parmesan and sauce and combine. Add 3 tablespoons of olive oil, and the parsley, and serve.

Every recipe I have tried from this cookbook is a good and flavorful one!

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