Who doesn’t enjoy a bowl of pasta covered in a rich tomato sauce and then topped with parmesan? I seriously don’t think I know anyone who would turn down pasta, especially during the colder months. Pasta is a total comfort food for me, and honestly I don’t eat it very often because I do try to watch my carb intake, but every once in a while I get a horrible craving for Italian food. And I give into those cravings….. Italian food is probably my favorite cuisine. Lasagna, pizza, spaghetti, pesto, veal parmesan, I want it all.
My absolute favorite is anything with a good marinara sauce. I love it and will eat it by itself. Just give me a bowl of marinara sauce, maybe some meatballs or ground sausage, top with parmesan, and I’m a happy camper. When I do make pasta, my ratio of sauce to noodles is not very Italian. I definitely prefer the pasta to be drowning in sauce. I also like to use a lot of tomato paste. Most recipes seem to call for only a tablespoon or two of tomato paste. I finally just started using the whole little can because the leftovers would always get lost in the back of the fridge and then thrown away a month later. Anyone else have that problem or just me?
For the pasta, well, I spotted this pasta at the grocery store a while back, and it looked fancy, so I bought it. It’s called Italian Trottole pasta. Even the name sounds fancy, but it’s just a spiral, macaroni-type noodle. I impulse-bought it and when the pasta craving hit, I decided it’d go well with a puttanesca sauce. Pasta puttanesca is traditionally made with spaghetti noodles.
The thing I like about puttanesca sauce is that it’s loaded with veggies and fairly versatile. This recipe is pretty forgiving (always a plus), and you can be creative with it. You probably have most of the ingredients in your cupboards or pantry right now. To make pasta more of a healthy meal, I usually pair it with a salad so it’s not just a one-dish meal. There was leftover puttanesca sauce, so I used it with zoodles instead of pasta the second night, and it was still amazing. Enjoy!
- 1 lb Italian Pork Sausage
- 1 medium Onion, chopped
- 1 medium Green Bell Pepper, chopped
- 2-4 Garlic Cloves, minced
- ½ cup Manzanilla Olives, chopped + some of the liquid from the jar
- ½ cup Artichoke Hearts, chopped + some of the liquid
- 28 oz can of Whole Tomatoes
- 6 oz can Tomato Paste
- 15 oz can Tomato Sauce
- 1 tsp oregano
- 2 tsp dried parsley
- ½ tsp red pepper flakes (1/4 tsp if you're not a fan of some heat)
- ½ tsp ground pepper
- ½ cup parmesan cheese for topping
- 8 oz pasta - Italian Trottole or similar type of pasta
- Brown sausage over medium heat
- Once sausage is browned, add chopped onion and green pepper. When the onion and pepper start to soften, about 5 minutes or so, add in the garlic, manzanilla olives, and artichoke hearts.
- Stir in some of the juice from the manzanilla olives and artichoke hearts for extra brininess, if that's your thing (it's definitely mine).
- Pour in the canned whole tomatoes, smashing the tomatoes with your spoon or spatula.
- Add in the tomato sauce and tomato pasta.
- Mix in the seasonings - oregano, parsley, red pepper, and black pepper.
- Let puttanesca sauce simmer for ~10-15 minutes to allow flavors to blend together.
- While the sauce simmers, cook pasta according to directions on the package.
- To serve, dish pasta into bowls and cover generously with puttanesca sauce. Top with parmesan.