Pasta Puttanesca

Known as the recipe that Italy's "ladies of the evening" would prepare in between clients, this pasta is quick to put together and uses ingredients that might already be in your pantry.

PREP TIME: 5 minutes
COOK TIME: 20 minutes

1 pound dried spaghetti or linguine
5 garlic cloves, finely minced
2 teaspoons anchovy paste
1/2 teaspoon hot red-pepper flakes
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 (28-ounce) can whole tomatoes in juice
1/2 cup pitted Kalamata olives
2 tablespoons drained capers
Pinch of sugar
3/4 cup coarsely chopped basil

Cook pasta in a pasta pot of boiling salted water (2 1/2 Tbsp salt for 6 qt water) until barely al dente.

While pasta boils, cook garlic, anchovy paste, red-pepper flakes, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper in oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until fragrant and pale golden, about 2 minutes.

Meanwhile, purée tomatoes with juice in a blender.

Add tomato purée to garlic oil along with olives and capers and simmer, stirring occasionally, until pasta is ready. Stir in sugar.

Drain pasta and add to sauce. Simmer, turning pasta with tongs, until pasta is cooked al dente, about 2 minutes. Garnish with basil.