Whole Grain Penne alla Puttanesca and a Little Scoop of Ricotta

The Spicy and Pungent Pasta of the Ladies of the Night

Cook garlic, red pepper flakes and anchovies in olive oil for a few minutes until the anchovies dissolve. Add diced canned tomatoes, dried basil, chopped kalamata olives and capers. Simmer, then adjust seasoning. Top whole grain pasta (3X the fiber of regular pasta) with the sauce then a little scoop of (low-fat) ricotta. Everyone loves Parmigiano-Reggiano or Pecorino with pasta, but sometimes it’s nice to have a change and fresh creamy ricotta (here too) fits the bill.
Thank you to my blogger friend Stacey of Stacey Snacks Blog for the idea to make Pasta alla Puttanesca. As she says, “you have this stuff in the house,” which I did. So for all those in colder climes who are not in the mood to brave the weather and go shopping, this intensely flavorful dish might just be an option for tonight’s dinner!

Chez Lori Lynn

My cookbooks have long outgrown their original home on the bookshelves. Cookbook Sprawl has now reached my office, the coffee table in the den, and the sideboard in the dining room. But I’m not complaining. They are all precious to me. For the holidays I received the magnificent Alinea cookbook and a personalized Home Cooking with Charlie Trotter! Thanks D & K!
Do you have any kind of collection that has taken over your home?

39 thoughts on “Whole Grain Penne alla Puttanesca and a Little Scoop of Ricotta”

  1. That looks delicious! Pasta is one of my favorites meals, and I often make it similarly to this. I will have to try this variation; I just need the kalamata olives and capers. 🙂

  2. Great call on adding the ricotta to smooth things out. I love the intensity of puttanesca, but a whole plate can get a little overwhelming sometimes.

  3. Oh, to see the picture of your cookbook shelf is balm to my soul. I too suffer from coobook collectionitis, and it is so nice to see someone else shares my affliction.

  4. LL,
    I would like to come over and browse your cookbook collection!
    I just ordered 2 new cookbooks tonight on amazon (free shipping!).

    Happy you made hooker’s pasta!
    It’s my favorite! and I love your ricotta addition.

  5. hmmm…

    I’ve loved pasta since I lived in Italy, but I’ve never tried this with capers…I’ve actually never even had capers…

    Can’t wait to try this out! This blog actually inspired me to try my hand at cooking!

  6. My kids love pasta with anchovies. Next time, I am adding olives and capers. The ricotta addition is just wonderful! A simple change makes this dish stand out! Thanks for the great idea!

  7. That looks soooo elegant and divine. I love the way you’ve served it up on the plate… it’s so sophisticated!

  8. It’s truly an obsession. I have more than 150 cookbooks…to feed one person. Well, occasionally many more than that, but I’m the only one here for lunch most days and dinner many days. I love to read them (there’s always one on the bedside table), and when I have none (when I forget to take one along on a visit or a biz trip) I’m tempted to go out and buy one. Oh, and hooray for the pasta reminder; it really is so easy and so flavorful, I wonder why I don’t make it more often.

  9. Those flavors are calling to me 🙂 It looks as beautiful as it sounds Lori Lynn! Three cheers to Penne!

    And yes I collect cookie jars and tea pots.. but it seems that my collection of kids is what is taking over my home! 🙂

    Hugs to you..

  10. My cookbook shelves look much like yours. My treasures!

    I’ve been experimenting with whole wheat pastas as well. The family doesn’t seem to know the difference.

  11. L-L, the ricotta is a good foil to the sometimes briny Puttanesca…must be going now…the “ladies” are waiting for lunch!

  12. Hi Lori Lynn,

    I thought it was high time I came out from the lurking cabinet and introduced myself.

    I’m a frequent visitor to your blog (actually have had you in my sidebar for quite sometime:) who also has quite a collection of cookbooks that have pretty near moved me into the garage. Your approach to cooking is so enlightening and I truly enjoy my visits.

    Thank you so much for sharing…

  13. R keeps saying that I have a problem with the number of cookbooks I have, but it’s really a moderate collection. He’d say your collection is certifiably crazy…I say it’s admirable.

    The pasta looks delicious!

  14. This is perfect timing as I was just trying to figure out how to use up the ricotta I have in the fridge before it goes bad.

  15. I’m loving your cookbook collection! Mine is slowly starting to take over as well. Oh wow, the pasta looks amazing!

  16. The pasta looks great, the dishes are gorgeous! I love looking at your cookbooks, though you need to take the picture closer so I can peek at the titles.

  17. I’ll bet that ricotta tastes uber creamy next to that sauce and I wouldn’t even have to feel totally guilty about eating it. Like phoney marscapone. Your cookbook shelf and mine are frightengly similar. The only way I have room for a newly bought cookbook is because I seem to have one in every single room…just in case – you know.

  18. My vice is cookbooks and cooking magazines, you should see my pantry! But right now I have my mind on your pasta!! Love the ricotta too!

  19. Hi lori
    your collection is a reflection of wthat i see in your posts..i admire your passion and as usual, loved this post on pasta alla puttanesca…the ingredients that you used garlic,red pepper flakes, anchovies, diced canned tomatoes, dried basil, chopped kalamata olives and capers must have made it so good.

  20. Oh yeah, I have all but the olives on hand, what a great pic (wiping my screen off 🙂

    LOL .. about the cookbooks, mine have moved from the bookcase to the top of the dresser, kitchen table and every other nook and cranny and I still collect them.

  21. Hi LL, I see a little space on the bottom shelf. This is good because I just picked up a “food” book as part of your birthday present. FA

  22. oh my goodness!! i am so doing this recipe tonight! i love that brilliant idea of adding that ricotta on the top! yummy

  23. HI Elra – it’s probably nice and neat then, no?

    HI Juliet – capers a must, you can use different olives, whatever is on hand.

    Hi Marc – I agree, and ricotta works.

    Hi Joie – each book precious, no? Can’t have too many.

    HI Stace – thank YOU for the inspiration.

    HI Asha – please let me know how it goes!

    HI Ning – thanks, please let me know what they think of the additions.

    Hi Jesse – instead of tossing it, which coats the pasta, and not so pretty, I toss the pasta with some olive oil, then ladle the sauce on top.

    Hi Anon – yea, it is a good recipe, when Stace posted it I thought the same thing as you.
    The only place I don’t have a cookbook is beside my bed! I fall asleep right when my head hits the pillow!

    Hi Maryann – it is just for you 🙂

    Hi Peter – It seems to work. Ladies? Waiting?

  24. Hi Laurie – Cookie jars and teapots? Must be darling! Collection of kids, Cute!

    Hi Lori – I thought the Barilla whole grain penne was excellent.

    HI Louise – I am so glad to finally make your acquaintance! Thanks for the recognition on your blog, much appreciated. You are so nice!

    Hi Psychgrad – R can call me crazy any day!

    HI ThatGirl – so, did you make It? I’ll have to stop by your blog after this.

    Hi Bridgett – no complaints though, right?

    Hi Pam – I was thinking of that, the only one that is clear is the big Italian cookbook with the spoon on the spine.

    Hi Giz – no guilt, low fat, small scoop!

    Hi Marie – I have to say I stopped renewing some of my cooking magazine subscriptions, they were building up into piles and I couldn’t read them all. Then I see a delicious looking magazine cover in the grocery store, and want to buy it anyway.

  25. Hi Soni – You are always so kind, thank you so much.

    Hi OhioMom – you too? Sounds like we have plenty of company in our collecting!

    Father Adam – gosh, thanks! Can’t wait to cook something from it with you then! I haven’t even started to think about my birthday, you are way ahead of me…See you soon!

    Hi Jessy – I bet when you get this old you’ll have more, especially ones on baking!

    Hi Dhanggit – love to hear how it turned out!

    Hi Walker – I am so glad you are coming over from my San Pedro Daily Photo blog. That one is new this month, this one since 2007. I thought the traffic would flow in the other direction. So glad to have you comment here. Do you cook too?

  26. your pasta dish is simply amazing!!! and the duck taco, ah, soooo inviting!!! it’s midnight and i’m getting hungry looking at your dishes… 🙂

  27. It wasn’t long ago when I had not one cookbook. Now, I have a few and just recently was looking for some place to put them. Incredible. 😉


  28. I am figting to contain all my books in one room. The number of foodie books have overtaken the academic books I need for work (LOL) and I am not complaining about that latter part at all 🙂

  29. Thank you for the yummy recipe. I was reading that as the baby boomers have gotten older, and their taste buds have lost their original abilities, spicy food is more popular than ever. I enjoy your blog so much.

  30. How I love a simple sauce recipe! Looks excellent, Lori Lynn. And I love your tableware – very pretty.

    Well, your cookbook collection is far more organized than mine. I went foraging around the house the other day, counting them as I went. It was shocking to arrive at 87! Where did they come from? : D

  31. The scoop of ricotta is just brilliant, I love it!

    I have the same affliction, collecting cookbooks (and other books)…I now borrow from the library and when I really like it I’d buy it.:)

  32. Wow, you have a lot of cookbooks. I love pasta putanesca. Some nice riccotta salata would be really nice on top as well.

  33. We had to buy an Ikea unit that runs the length of the living room and kitchen to house all my books( cooking id just one section). And CS has a watch collection we could open a shop with.

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