Anchovies are a traditional component of this classic Italian dish, but they’re optional. Shrimp, on the other hand, may not be authentic, but they’re completely at home in the spicy, briny sauce.
This recipe is easily adaptable to serve seafood-lovers and vegetarians alike: see the variation to serve one vegetarian, or check out the totally meatless version: Vegetarian Penne alla Puttanesca.
Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the penne and cook until al dente. Drain well.
Add the shrimp and anchovies (if using) to the sauce in the skillet. Raise the heat to medium high and cook, stirring occasionally, until the shrimp are cooked through, 3 to 4 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Pour the pasta into the skillet and toss with the shrimp sauce. Divide the pasta among 4 bowls. Sprinkle with cheese and parsley.
A side of Sauteed Broccoli Raab makes a lovely accompaniment.
To serve 1 vegetarian and 3 meat-lovers: Reduce the shrimp to 12 oz. and the anchovies to 3 fillets, finely chopped. After draining the pasta, toss about 1-1/3 cups in a warm serving bowl with 3/4 cup of the sauce. Sprinkle with one-quarter of the cheese and parsley. Add the shrimp and anchovies to the remaining sauce in the skillet and proceed as directed above, dividing the remaining pasta between 3 bowls and sprinkling with the remaining cheese and parsley.
This was terrific! I used slightly less capers and slightly less olives. I did include the anchovies. The whole grain pasta was a wonderful foil for the sauce, and contributed to the rustic quality of the dish. Can’t wait to serve it again!
Loved this recipe! Easy to assemble and SO tasty. The orange zest was a lovely touch. And good as leftovers too!
Although this sounds interesting I will not be making the dish because of the amount of sodium. 2840mg of sodium/serving is way to much,especially when the recommended amount is either 2500 or 2000 mg/Day depending on your sex and age.
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