Puttanesca-style marinara sauce

Our go-to cook book around the house is Good Food Great Medicine: A Homemade Cookbook. Recipes and ruminations from a medical practice. The author is Miles Hassell, MD; he was Carla’s dad’s physician when they moved up here to Portland from the Bay Area. We’ve attended some of his local lectures where he provides evidence-based support for the Mediterranean diet. We’ve prepared many recipes from this book and it certainly doesn’t taste like “dieting”. Olive oil plays a major role in his recipes.

Our favorites include Granola, which Carla makes every couple of weeks; garlic and mustard vinaigrette, which we put on practically everything, Mexican brown rice with black beans, meat loaf, creamy Thai tomato soup; and Tom Kah Gai, a Thai Chicken soup with coconut milk. Other than granola, the dish we make most often is his tomato sauce.  It has a couple of options and we usually go with the puttanesca style which includes anchovies and kalamata olives. Don’t let the anchovies scare you away from this recipe; there only a few and they give a nice depth to the sauce. It’s nothing like having anchovies on your pizza. You can find a recipe for it here; I made it this week with the capers which are optional; they can be left out and you’ll still have a great sauce. I also chose the option of using one 14 ounce can of crushed tomatoes and one of diced. I was going for a nice chunky sauce.

Finally, this is no hours-long simmering recipe. I made it from start to end in about 90 minutes and that includes a ridiculous amount of time posing the elements for my pictures, and getting all my mis-en-place organized before starting to cook so I could get comprehensive pictures

The entire line up.

By the way; I didn’t drop the onions in the dirt in this picture. The crushed red pepper flakes cook with the onions so I tossed them in instead of giving them their little bowl like I should have.

Everything chopped and measured.

Sauté the onions in 1/4 cup olive oil for about 10 minutes, then add the garlic, oregano, and thyme for a minute until they become fragrant.

Sauté the onions, then add the oregano, thyme, and garlic.
Toss in the remaining ingredients and let simmer for 30 minutes
Simmer the ingredients for 30 minutes

This is great on top of meat loaf. We had it this week with spaghetti. I boiled the noodles for about 8 minutes, then drained and returned to the pot. I added a cup of the sauce to the pot to mix with the noodles. Then put in a pasta bowl and top with more sauce and some nice parmesan cheese.

Dinner is served
All mixed up and ready to eat.

Try the recipe sometime when you have a hankering for spaghetti; if you like it buy the book and I bet you’ll find a couple of other recipes you love.

Rating: ★★ 4 out of 5 stars. We serve this to everyone.

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