Pasta Puttanesca

Known affectionately in my circle as “Hooker Pasta.”  Why, you ask?  Well, first you have to understand that this sauce cooks kind of like sun tea – it marinates all day, preferably outside in the sun, bringing out the different flavors in the ingredients.  Back in the “old days” (and I do actually mean old days – like, a couple or more centuries ago) the prostitutes would put this sauce in their window, and the smell of it would draw their customers in.  In addition, it “cooked” while they took care of “bidness.”

I’m hosting this month’s dinner club tonight, and I chose “Food with a Story” for the theme.  I’m cooking “Hooker Pasta.”  It’s always been a hit – so I share it with you here today. 

1-2 bunches fresh basil, unwashed leaves, sliced once
3 cups olive oil
2 cups tomatoes – cherry are best, roma or grape is fine
1 tube anchovy paste
1 bulb garlic, freshly chopped
1½ cup black greek olives, pitted
1 box shell pasta
Freshly grated parmesan
Mix garlic, olive oil, black olives (smoosh with your fingers), tomatoes (smooshed), anchovy paste, and basil.
Cover and let sit in the sun on a warm summer day for five hours.  You can also use a warm oven, but outside is better.
Pour over cooked pasta, add cheese.

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