Growing up we had a ton of family traditions. Many I have shared here and many were based on my southern/Cajun/Texas upbringing and family heritage. Today, I have a family of my own, and I love that we have continued many of mine and Eric’s childhood traditions, while creating our own.
Since my in-laws are Italian, I have loved learning more about their traditions and learning to make authentic Italian food. I will never forget one Easter spending all day the Saturday before learning how to make homemade manicotti with Eric’s aunts and cousins. And I look forward to every Christmas Eve, when we have a classic Italian fish dinner with mussels and homemade marinara sauce, linguine and clams, ceviche, lemon herb tilapia, shrimp scampi, Pasta Puttanesca and well lasagna or baked ziti for the for those that don’t care for fish.
Yup, despite the fact that my in-laws are Italian the are kinda picky eats. Several people don’t like seafood, one doesn’t like cheese (YES, I know, a travesty) and others don’t like briny foods like capers or olives. Seriously I don’t know what is wrong with these people! But luckily, despite their varying taste buds, we all come together for the holidays for love and laughter and tradition; oh and at least there is something for everyone to eat! 🙂
Pasta Puttanesca is a classic Italian dish. It is composed of pantry staples (well at least Italian pantry staples), like olives, capers, anchovies, canned tomatoes and pasta! It is a quick no fuss meal and if you like salty foods this is the pasta dish for you! The earthy olives, salty capers and anchovies really come together for a punch of flavor in this simple meal. Serve it at an Italian holiday fish dinner or for a quick weeknight dinner during this busy time of year!
By Heather H. of Kitchen Concoctions: www.kitchen-concoctions.com
Prep Time: 10-15 minutes Cook Time: 15 minutes Serves: 4-6
1 pound dried spaghetti or angle hair pasta
1 medium yellow onion, diced
5 cloves garlic, minced
6-7 anchovy fillets, minced
1/2 teaspoon hot red-pepper flakes, or more to taste
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes in juice
1/2 cup pitted Mezzetta Kalamata olives, chopped
2 tablespoons drained capers, minced
¼ cup flat leaf parsley (plus more for serving)
1 tablespoon fresh oregano, chopped
½ teaspoon black pepper
1/8 teaspoon Kosher salt (if needed)
Parmesan cheese, for serving
Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions and cook, stirring occasionally for 5-6 minutes or until the onions become translucent.
Add garlic, anchovies, olives and capers. Cook for 1-2 minutes. Stir in diced tomatoes. Reduce heat to low and allow sauce to simmer for 8-10 minutes.
Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Boil pasta according to package directions. Drain and toss with 1-2 tablespoons olive oil. Set aside.
During the last 3-4 minutes of cooking, stir fresh herbs into sauce. Taste sauce and season with black pepper and salt (if needed). Pour sauce over cooked pasta and toss to combine. Serve immediately topped with fresh Parmesan cheese and additional fresh parsley.
What are your favorite holiday memories and recipes? Mezzetta, family owned since 1935, is continuing the commitment to bring their customers the highest quality foods available. Since they source the finest fresh produce from California, Italy, Spain, France, and Greece and prepare them according to their Italian family recipes; they want to learn more about you favorite holiday memories. Enter the Holiday Memories Sweepstakes by sharing your holiday memories and traditions. To enter, click here for your chance to win some great prizes including an Instant Print Digital Camera or an Ultimate Olive Lover’s Gift Basket. And if you like to use olives in your holiday recipes, click here for a $.50 off coupon!