For my second week in the Craving Ellie in My Belly group, the recipe we were to make was Ellie's Pasta Puttanesca. This meal was chosen by Jen of What Jen's Cooking. The recipe is posted on her blog, but she cut it in half. I made the full amount, using a pound of pasta.
Okay, so first let me say that I was pretty scared to make this initially. I mean, there were ingredients in here that fall way outside of my comfort zone. It starts out innocently enough. It's got spaghetti. That's safe; that's delicious! Tomato-based sauce? You're still speaking my language. Capers? Hmm. Okay, I'm still with you. Olives? Eh....I'll try it out, but I don't generally like olives. Then came the kicker ingredient: anchovy paste. Huh? Fishy-ness? In my pasta sauce? I was dubious, to say the least. But Rachael Ray's always going on and on about how anchovies are delicious, that they taste like salted nuts, and let's face it, salted nuts really are delicious. So I reminded myself that part of the motivation for me joining this blogging group in the first place was to broaden my horizons, to try things I never would have dreamed I would try. I threw my skepticism to the wind and bought the proper ingredients for the meal, even though I was terrified just by picking up the anchovy paste at the store.
Finally, the day arrived to make the pasta. I took all the stuff out and set it on the counter that morning. I figured maybe staring at the tube of anchovy paste all day would get me used to idea of actually ingesting it. Instead it tortured me. I should have taken a picture of the thing sitting there, mocking me. I sucked it up, though. I made the meal. Here is a picture of the scary sauce simmering on the stove. Looks tasty, right?
Well, guess what? It really was! It was so good. I actually am ashamed now that I was so frightened of it. I should have known Ellie would never steer me wrong. The sauce was tangy, salty, and deep in flavor. The anchovy paste definitely adds something to it that I've never experienced before, and I liked it. The hubs loved it, too, but then I wasn't really worried that he wouldn't. If it's salty, he's in. Anyway, I am really glad that I didn't chicken out and omit the paste. I would definitely make this meal again; maybe soon! Thanks to Jen for a great pick!