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Spring Onion Puttanesca

Spring Onion Puttanesca


  • About 1/4 cup olive oil

  • 7 to 8 anchovy fillets, drained

  • 1 bunch spring onions or thin leeks, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced

  • About 3/4 cup pitted green, black, and/or red Cerignola olives, coarsely chopped

  • ¼ cup large capers or stemmed caper berries, drained and coarsely chopped

  • 6 large cloves garlic, thinly sliced

  • 1 lemon, zested (about 1 1/2 tsp.)

  • 1 tbsp. Calabrian chile paste or about 1 1/2 tsp. (about 1/2 palmful) crushed red pepper

  • ½ cup white (dry) vermouth

  • 2 pt. cherry tomatoes, halved

  • A few leaves of fresh basil, torn

  • Salt

  • 1 lb. spaghetti

  • About 1/2 cup mixed fresh mint and flat-leaf parsley leaves, chopped

  • Pepper


Step 1

Bring a large pot of water to a boil for the pasta.

Step 2

In a large deep skillet with a lid, heat the oil, about four turns of the pan, over medium to medium-high. Add the anchovies. Cover the skillet and swirl until the anchovies begin to break down, about 2 minutes. Uncover the skillet and mash the anchovies until they melt into the oil. Add the spring onions, olives, capers, garlic, lemon zest, and chile paste. Cook, stirring often, until the spring onions wilt, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the vermouth. Cook, stirring often, until the liquid is absorbed, about 3 minutes. Add the tomatoes. Cover and cook, shaking the skillet often, until the tomatoes slump, 7 to 8 minutes. Stir in the basil.

Step 3

Salt the boiling water and add the pasta. Cook until 1 minute shy of the package directions. Scoop out about half a cup of the starchy cooking water, then drain the pasta. Toss the pasta and half the herbs with the sauce; add the cooking water as needed if the pasta is dry. Season with salt and pepper. Serve in shallow bowls and top with the remaining herbs.