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Passport & Plate - Pasta Puttanesca

USA | Tuesday, 11 February 2014 | 5 photos

Pasta Puttanesca Serves 6
For the sauce:
1/2 Cup GOOD olive oil
1 large onion finely chopped
4 head fresh garlic cloves finely chopped
3 Tablespoon hot red pepper flake
1 tin olive oil-cured Italian anchovies
4 Tablespoon chopped capers
1 Cup chopped/de-pitted kalamata olives
4 JUICY garden tomatoes, chopped. (best to use fresh/organic garden tomatoes, in the winter roma's will do)
1/2 Cup good Italian Parmesan to garnish;

For the Pasta:
2 1/4 Cup flour
3 eggs
A whole lotta muscle and a traditional Italian pasta roller.

How to prepare this recipe:

Start with a boiling large pot of water on the stove in preparation for the pasta

In a medium dutch oven warm the olive oil at medium heat. Add the onions and garlic and stir occasionally until they've sweat into the oil and become clearish-looking (this is called soffrito).
Add the red pepper, anchovies, and capers. Let simmer for about 5 minutes.
Add the olives and tomato and let flavors simmer for about 30 minutes.

Get your pasta maker ready! attach to a stable surface and prepare 2 dry towels to lay the raw pasta after it is rolled
make a flour "dish" with the 2 1/4 C flour (see photo)
crack 3 eggs into the "dish" slowly, with a fork, incorporate the eggs into the flour. It will slowly become a large ball and you will want to kneed it until smooth. Once smooth, let rest for 10 minutes wrapped in saran wrap to let toughen.

Pick the dough into 4 equal pieces, flour, and run through your pasta maker twice on each numbered level to at least level 5 (I got to 6 to get them extra thin). You can choose to make angel hair or fettuccine. I prefer fettuccine for this recipe!

Flour pasta and drop in boiling water for 30 seconds-1 min. Pasta should be al dente.

Buon Appetito!

The story behind this recipe:
In 2012 I moved to Australia from the states to learn how to surf. I left with a huge appetite for adventure and little to no money...

Rubina and Fabio Sillatio, the two crazy Italians from Sicily, who now reside in Noosa Heads, Australia, took me under their wing as the only server in their quaint, red checkered table-clothed restaurant. Rubina and Fabio had (after Sicily), moved to Brisbane. Ruby was a counter person at a muffin shop and Fabio a specialty jeweler. They become pregnant with their only son Luca Luigi, and in a desperate financial move, they found the perfect restaurant front that would fit their ultimate dream since arriving in Australia, and appropriately named it "Ipazzi" (meaning, "The Crazy Ones").
I've worked in restaurants for a long time, but no place like this one. Fabio would yell, Ruby would throw pots, and I would serve tables with little Luigi in my arms after a long mornings surf. (mind you I am blonde haired, blue-eyed, and so is he), Lots of baby questions ensued.
Dinner was promised every night after closing. I would always say 'No, no, don't worry, thank you so much, but I must get going' (only trying to avoid a 3 hour dinner and a bedtime of 2 a.m., EVERY NIGHT). To no avail did I ever win. We would cook late into the night after we had closed the kitchen to the public. I loved their pizzas, but it was the pasta sauce that got me. You know that kind of food that just makes you go weak in the knees? Their homemade pasta and sauce (EVERYTHING from scratch) made me collapse. The puttanesca was like nothing I'd ever tried. Salty and acidic, with caper berries and a little spice. Not too heavy on the tomato (a mistake many people make when making puttanesca). The use of good olive oil and all organic ingredients really DOES make a difference.I worked under Fabio's Italian precision and learned as much as I could in 6 short months. Since I've been home I do my best to recreate the food I ate at Ipazzi with all those crazy ones.

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