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Spaghetti alla Puttanesca

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After I arrived home with multiple bulging bags from the Meditteranean Wholesalers, I was startled to find that the expensive pasta the retailer has promoted as “spelt” was in fact made from “farro,” or more specifically emmer wheat. I know, I should have read the labels more closely.

After much googling the best explanation about the differences between these grains was on Wikipedia. “Einkorn (Triticum monococcum), emmer (Triticum dicoccum), and spelt (Triticum spelta) are called farro in Italy, sometimes (but not always) distinguished as farro medio, farro grande, and farro piccolo, respectively.”

I could find no reference to dietary intolerance of emmer wheat for those with fructose malabsorption, so I decided that I’d take the risk and cook some spaghetti immediately for lunch to test it out. The worst that could happen would be 12 hours of abdominal discomfort.ย  I decided onย  the quickest tastiest sauce I know, puttanesca. I’ve only ever made this version, exactly as published in Claudia Roden’s “The Food of Italy.”

I enjoyed eating the deliciously al dente farro spaghetti so much that deep down I knew I’d be okay, and I was, except, now I have a cupboard full of unopened packets of best quality Italian gluten free pasta looking for a good home.

To serve 4
2 large cloves garlic, roughly chopped
4-5 tablespoons olive oil
500g ripe tasty tomatoes, chopped
50g capers, squeezed
100g pitted black olives
100g anchovy fillets, finely chopped
1 teaspoon chilli flakes
1 teaspoon dried oregano
Good bunch of parsley, finely chopped
500g spaghetti cooked to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil and cook the garlic until golden.

Add the tomatoes, capers, olives, and chilli and oregano and simmer for about 10 minutes.

Stir in the remainder of the oil.

A few minutes before serving, add the anchovies and parsley.

Taste and season if necessary. It will probably be okay.

Toss the sauce through the cooked drained spaghetti and serve immediately.

About ladyredspecs

I live in sunny Brisbane, Australia. My love of good food drives me as a cook, a reader, a traveller, an artist and but mostly as an eater. I cooked professionally for many years but have no formal training. Simply guided by a love of eating good food, respect for ingredients and an abhorrence of artificial additives, I cook instinctively applying the technical know how acquired by experience. I hope you enjoy what I share Sandra AKA ladyredspecs

39 comments on “Spaghetti alla Puttanesca

  1. saucygander
    May 2, 2014

    I forgot to leave a comment! This looks so fresh and vibrant, I’ll be making this for dinner tonight! ๐Ÿ™‚ Claudia Roden writes so well and clearly.

    Like

  2. Karen
    May 1, 2014

    One of my favorite pasta sauces to make when I don’t have much timeโ€ฆnot only is is quick, but it is so good. I’m glad that the farro pasta agreed with you.

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      May 2, 2014

      Yes I agree, puttanesca throws together quickly without fuss, great for unexpected guests as I always have the ingredients in the pantry. Everyone love puttanesca

      Like

  3. Pingback: In My Kitchen May 2014 | Please Pass the Recipe

  4. lapetitecasserole
    May 1, 2014

    I’m really glad that you could enjoy your plate of pasta… I had just once farro pasta, but I remember that I loved the “rustic” texture, perfect for puttanesca sauce. Your dish looks really yummy!

    Like

  5. chef mimi
    April 30, 2014

    I really enjoy all pastas, and fortunately am not limited by diet or allergies. I just think they all taste different and have textural differences that should be enjoyed. Love your pasta. Puttanesca is one of my top favorites!

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      May 1, 2014

      Thanks Mimi. The farro pasta has a wonderful firm texture, and topped with the super tasty puttanesca, it was a great success

      Like

  6. Serena
    April 30, 2014

    I love spelt pasta! It’s a little more expensive than the usual one, but well worth the cost! I use whole spelt flour for so many things…Your spaghetti alla puttanesca look so yummy!!!!
    ๐Ÿ™‚

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      May 1, 2014

      Thanks Serena. there is no wheat flour in my pantry, I’m using a broad range of different flours, but mainly spelt. I have an on going experiment with 100% spelt sourdough bread. That’s been quite a learning curve. you are right about the spelt pasta, well worth the cost

      Like

      • Serena
        May 1, 2014

        ๐Ÿ™‚ Sometimes I also make my pizza base only with whole spelt flour, when i want it healthier. Usually the best results I think come from a combination of different flours, but it is definitely healthier to change cereals and avoid the stuff we generally eat. And spelt flour is absolutely delicious!!!

        Like

  7. ChgoJohn
    April 30, 2014

    Puttanesca is a personal favorite. The aroma of anchovies, garlic, and olives on the pasta before me is phenomenal. I’ve never added the anchovies so late in the process, as you have here. I really have to give that a try. It would keep their flavor more pronounced and I love the sound of that. Thanks for the pointer.

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      April 30, 2014

      huh, an Anglo Aussie giving an Italo American cooking advice for pasta sauce hehehe. The anchovies remain quite distinct in flavour john, I really like that about this version of Puttanesca

      Like

  8. Eha
    April 30, 2014

    Thank God for no intolerances whatsoever here – does make life easier!! Besides the absolutely plain aglio e olio puttanesca is my favourite and I have already pulled my Rodan one from under a high pile [guess where the rest of the volumes are ๐Ÿ˜‰ !] Also did not know all of the ‘farro’ facts – thanks!!! Perhaps there is something to be said for ‘naughty’ girls ๐Ÿ˜€ !!!

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      April 30, 2014

      This puttanesca recipe is so good I’ve use it repeatedly, no need to make any adjustments at all…enjoy!

      Like

  9. Leah
    April 30, 2014

    Yum! I haven’t had putanesca for ages and I love it! Going to have to give this recipe a go soon xx

    Like

  10. Francesca
    April 30, 2014

    Good to hear that the farro /emmer pasta from that famous pasta aisle at Il Mediterraneo worked out for you. I love puttanesca sauce and this version is a classic.

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      April 30, 2014

      I love that shop, I always come home with something new. I much prefer the classics….

      Like

  11. kitchenkonfidential
    April 30, 2014

    such a pretty presentation ๐Ÿ™‚

    Like

  12. dishnthekitchen
    April 30, 2014

    I’m glad you tolerated it well. Cheers to a new food discovery!

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      April 30, 2014

      Bernice, good to hear from you. I was apprehensive while I waited for a reaction to the pasta, thankfully all was well. It was great pasta.

      Like

  13. Glenda
    April 30, 2014

    That sure looks good Sandra.

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      April 30, 2014

      thanks Glenda. The enjoyment was twofold, eating pasta with substance, and the delicious sauce.

      Like

      • Glenda
        April 30, 2014

        Hi Sandra, had it for dinner, very nice.

        Like

      • ladyredspecs
        May 1, 2014

        glad you enjoyed it…

        Like

  14. bakeritalia
    April 29, 2014

    I eat farro pasta here and I love it, so I can get it back in Australia then?
    Your puttanesca looks delicious.

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      April 30, 2014

      yes, italian retailers have quite a selection, at least in Melbourne they do.

      Like

  15. Darya
    April 29, 2014

    One of my all time favorite pasta dishes! I love your addition of oregano.

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      April 30, 2014

      basil would work well, fresh thyme too, just something fresh and delicious.

      Like

  16. This looks so delicious! My freeing and I just had a conversation about anchovies yesterday. She loves them.. Gobs of them… While I can tolerate just a hint… I told her that I really want to love them!! I’m going to give this recipe a try.. First, because it looks and sounds so fabulous… And second, because I think if I keep eating anchovies, I’ll develop a taste for them!
    โค

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      April 30, 2014

      Good logic Prudy! My advice is to buy the most expensive you can afford. the more you spend the better they get, although white anchovies from Spain are way too good to cook with…

      Like

  17. marymtf
    April 29, 2014

    Love puttanesca too but have never made it, This version sounds lovely.

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      April 29, 2014

      Hi Mary, good to hear from you.. it was delicious puttanesca, simple and quick!

      Like

  18. My Kitchen Witch
    April 29, 2014

    Pasta here is labeled spelt pasta and the farro called spelt farro. Yes, you are absolutely correct, farro is the generic term for three different types of wheat – emmer, einkhorn and spelt – all of which are old varieties and are generally distinguished by size (hence the Italian descriptions), but that’s no use to you once they’ve been turned into flour! Such a disappointment you must have had after hauling the packages home. Love puttanesca, however. It’s one of our family favourites.

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      April 29, 2014

      The farro pasta was delicious. Luckily I tolerated it really well. I’m glad I decided to give it a test run and not just dismiss it out of hand. Roden’s puttanesca is brilliant, no need to mess with recipe!

      Like

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This entry was posted on April 29, 2014 by in FODMAP diet, Food, Light Savoury Dishes, Main Meals, Pasta and tagged , , , , , , .
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