This was one of the most flavorful sauces I’ve made in awhile. Flavorful but not stinky. It had all the saltiness and flavor of a puttanesca, minus the smelliness that comes from anchovies. I’ve had puttanesca sauces I’ve enjoyed before, but sometimes those little fish make the classic sauce just a tad too overwhelming for my nose and taste-buds. Plus, I was doing the cooking, and lingering garlic on my hands I can take, but fishiness I can not.
Instead, I went for a basil-oregano fragrance, which if you ask me should be bottled and sold among the Channel No. 5’s. Perfumes these days are far too sweet for my liking. I want to eat my cake, not smell like it too. Fresh basil on the other hand, that’s a clean smell I could probably stand for longer than just a whiff.
I tossed those herbs in with some sauce and finished the whole thing off with another herby element by utilizing freshly chopped parsley. It was like Christmas on my plate, with each bite unwrapping another nuance of flavor.
This is a sauce that’s sure to hold up to whole wheat pasta, and it’s got a texture that goes ideally with a thin-stranded variety. While the foodies might call me out for this, this is as deliciously pungent as puttanesca, no fish required.
- -1 lb. whole wheat angel hair or spaghettini
- -1 1/2 Tbsp. olive oil
- -3 large onions, diced
- -4 cloves garlic, minced
- -2 tsp. dried basil
- -2 tsp. dried oregano
- -1 tsp. red chili pepper flakes
- -1 tsp. garlic salt
- -2 1/2 cups meatless soy crumbles
- -3 cups spaghetti sauce
- -1/2 cup dry sherry
- -2 1/2 Tbsp. capers
- -1 cup pimiento-stuffed olives, sliced
- -1/2 cup parsley, chopped
- Cook pasta until al dente.
- Meanwhile, heat oil over medium-high in large skillet. Saute onions until nearly translucent. Add garlic and continue sauteing until onions are fully translucent and tender. Stir in basil, oregano, chili flakes and garlic salt, and saute another minute.
- Add soy crumbles and cook until they unthaw (if frozen) and begin to brown. Add capers, olives and sauce and bring up to temperature. Reduce heat to medium-low and add sherry. Let simmer for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in parsley, leaving a pinch aside, and cook until wilted.
- Remove from heat. Serve over pasta and top with pinch of fresh parsley.