I had lunch last week with a fellow cooking blogger (and YouTuber) Charlie DeSando. (Blog here, and YouTube here). During our conversation the topic of anchovies came up—he is pro and I am con, in case that is not clear. Of course, he’s Italian so his stance, while repugnant, is forgivable. But later, when I talked enthusiastically about my love of pasta alla Norma, he reminded me that it contains anchovies as does puttanesca another of my loves so I can’t be all that anti-anchovy. Whatever.
So last night seemed like the right time to make it, puttanesca, I mean. I had all the ingredients even though I’m not exactly sure what a puttanesca recipe might be. I could have asked the google but I know I can wing it. Besides, everyone has their own idea of how it should be made just like recipes for chili and stew, but with puttanesca olives, garlic, onions, hot peppers, capers and anchovies are probably in the mix.
What isn’t in the mix, I’m pretty sure, is Boursin cheese which for no particular reason I dumped into the sauce. What the hell, I had some left over, seemed like it would work. And what unquestionably is not a part of the recipe is cooking the pasta in the sauce. I’m pretty sure doing this might get me kneecapped in some circles. What can I say? I’m lazy. Clean up is easier and cooking the pasta in the sauce gives it a creamier texture and the Boursin gave it a creamier taste. I topped it with Monterey Jack cheese, obviously another violation of some code or regalomento that may well get me barred from entering Italy. And while it wasn’t as pretty as it might have been, and there may be dire consequences, it was absolutely and totally delicious.
And in another quirky twist of something or other, the New York Times Spelling Bee pangram that day was anchovy.