I'm sort of surprised I actually managed to make this last night.  I had an early morning meeting, a long day at work, then I met with my trainer after work, and I didn't get home until about 9pm, knowing full well I had boot camp the next morning (think high school gym class for grownups run by trainers).  But I needed to eat, and I have been craving olives and salty foods, but also wanted a bunch of veggies, so this sounded sort of perfect. Luckily L also got home from his racketball game in time to share in my cooking mastery.  This recipe is from yesterday's Times. Pasta with Green Puttanesca

Time: 20 minutes

  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • 1 pound spaghettini or spaghetti (use the good stuff for this, or whole wheat)
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 10 anchovy fillets
  • 1/4 cup drained capers
  • 1 cup pitted and sliced green Cerignola or Picholine olives
  • 10 fat green garlic cloves, peeled, sliced 1/4-inch thick (or use 8 regular garlic cloves)
  • 1/3 cup chopped scallions including greens
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 12 cups baby spinach leaves (11 ounces)
  • 1/2 cup torn basil leaves.

1. Bring a large pot of heavily salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook until it is not quite al dente, 5 to 8 minutes. Reserve a cup of cooking water, then drain the pasta.

2. While the pasta is cooking, warm 1/4 cup of oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the anchovies and capers. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the capers start to brown, about 3 minutes. Add the remaining 1/4 cup oil, olives, garlic, scallions and red pepper flakes; increase heat to high if using green garlic (leave it at medium high for regular garlic) and cook until garlic is golden, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the spinach and cook until wilted, 1 to 2 minutes.

3. Add the pasta and toss for 1 minute. Add a splash of pasta cooking water if the pasta seems dry. Season with salt, if necessary. Toss in the basil leaves.

Yield: 4 to 6 servings.