Whole Wheat Pasta Puttanesca

I love to cook, but sometimes I get home from work and I’m tired and don’t want to have to do much work to get dinner on the table.  Compared to baking which is more of a precise science, cooking allows for more creativity and using ingredients that are on-hand.  A couple of weeks ago I was craving a salty, flavorful pasta dish.  I had just bought some raw tail-on shrimp and decided to make a healthier version of a Pasta Puttanesca.

I gathered up ingredients that were already in my kitchen:

1 lb. raw tail-on shrimp

3 Roma tomatoes

3 cloves garlic

2 tbsp capers

2 cups of button mushrooms

1/2 cup good white wine

2 tbsp olive oil (2 turns in the pan)

salt and pepper to taste

chili flakes to taste

6-8 oz. whole wheat spaghetti

Mince garlic, dice Roma tomatoes, half button mushrooms-set aside

Heat olive oil in a large pot, add garlic, saute lightly, add raw shrimp, quickly cook until just pink, remove and set aside. Heat additional olive oil, add Roma tomatoes, mushrooms, capers and continue to saute over medium heat.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil, salt if desired-boil spaghetti noodles according to package directions.  I usually like my pasta on the al dente side.

As the spaghetti cooks, add back the lightly cooked shrimp and white wine, continue to simmer over low heat.

Once spaghetti is at desired doneness , drain but reserve about 1/4 cup of pasta water.  Add spaghetti and pasta water to the pot.  Stir together sauce and pasta and add salt, pepper and chili flakes to taste.  Pasta Puttanesca typically calls for both anchovies and oregano.  I didn’t want an overpowering “fishy” flavor, so I substituted the shrimp and I didn’t have any oregano on-hand, so left it out.  I added extra chili flakes for additional heat and thought the sauce turned out flavorful.

This is an easy dinner dish, great for a weeknight when time is of the essence.  And with summer right around the corner, this lighter version of Pasta Puttanesca would be great for al fresco dining.  Enjoy!

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