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Pasta Puttanesca
with chickpea and arugula salad

Active: 35 min Total: 35 min
'Puttanesca' means something worthless, and this Italian sauce came about when a chef was scrounging around his pantry for basic tomato sauce ingredients and all he could find were tomatoes, olives, and capers. Today, we use this traditional sauce over pasta and sauteed cauliflower. If you're just not that into olives and capers, omit them and try for artichoke hearts, frozen peas, or spinach. Served with a bright arugula salad, this will be a lovely, rustic meal.


Pasta Puttanesca:
  • Garlic - 3 cloves , minced
  • Cauliflower - 1 head , chopped ((use more if you want more veggies))
  • Parsley - a few sprigs , chopped
  • Olives - 1 cup , sliced ((Use less or omit if you're not an olives fan or sub artichoke hearts))
  • Pasta - 1/2 lb ((like penne, fusilli))
  • Cooking oil - 2 Tbsp
  • Diced tomatoes (28 oz / 794 g can) - 1 can , drained
  • Sugar - 1/2 tsp
  • Capers - 3 Tbsp
  • Parmesan cheese - 1/4 cup , grated
Chickpea and Arugula Salad:
  • Garbanzo beans - 2/3 cup , rinsed & drained
  • Shallots - 1/4 bulb , minced
  • Red wine vinegar - 2 Tbsp
  • Dijon mustard - 2 tsp
  • Olive oil - 3 Tbsp
  • Arugula - 6 oz ((or use your favorite salad greens))


  1. Garlic / Cauliflower / Parsley / Olives - Prep as directed. (Can be done up to 4 days ahead)
  2. {For salad} Chickpeas / Shallots - Prep as directed. (Can be done up to 3 days ahead)

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  1. Bring a saucepan of water to boil. Salt heavily (that water should taste like the ocean!) and add pasta. Cook according to package instructions. Drain and set aside.
  2. Whisk together shallots, vinegar, Dijon, and olive oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper, and set aside.
  3. Heat a saute pan over medium-high heat. Add cooking oil and then cauliflower with a dash of salt. Saute for 4 to 6 minutes. Then add in garlic, tomatoes, sugar, and capers. Cook until cauliflower is tender, 2 to 4 more minutes.
  4. Add cooked pasta and olives to pan. Toss to coat.
  5. Toss vinaigrette with beans and arugula or other mixed greens. Serve with pasta. Top pasta with chopped parsley and parmesan cheese.



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