Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Tortiglioni alla Puttanesca Ai "Dilis"

This is a pasta recipe I've been longing to do since time immemorial.  I am however compelled so, because of the one ingredient I'm not sure how to handle and don't know where I can buy one that's good - it is anchovy.
And if ever you are wondering what Tortiglioni is, it's only a variety of pasta, classified under tubes.  I, however used the bigger sized rigatoni, just make sure that is well-cooked, al dente typed rigatoni is not really that likable to munch on, so timing and patience are essential in dealing with this kind of pasta.
I've dealt with different types of pasta from the smallest (minestre) to the largest (tubi or lasagna).  And believe me there is a whole new world to discover in the pasta genre.  
Going back to the anchovy thingy, I found an alternative, and it is our humble Philippine dilis.  Rich in protien than a glass of milk has , is often bought only as a last resort by families who cannot afford the more popular and expensive protein sources: dairy products, meat and classy fish varieties.
In this recipe I used the dried ones, and those that are smaller in sizes and lighter in color.  So why dilis?
Weeks ago we were invited for lunch at Hyphy's at Robinson's Galleria.   It was at the Veranda alongside many other restos.   It was owned and operated by Chef Bruce Lim.   He was there that time and he offered us their best-seller, Calamansi Tuyo Spaghetti.    With that dish is a well-loved story by chef.   And let me tell you, how I was swept off by that pasta.   The salty blend of tuyo and the sourness of the calamansi juice complemented each other.   Needless did I know that it would work well as an accompaniment to spaghetti.   Do read my blog about his Hyphy's and Chef's Table restaurant at GastronomyByJoy.com.
I'm not sure if you do know what Puttanesca means.  It came from the Italian word "puttana" means whore and this is the pasta dish she would use to seduce her clients.   While I can not guarantee its success as an aphrodisiac, I can at least say that your partner will enjoy this, because mine did and so did my kids.
Here are what you need:
 For 500 g pasta.
100 ml, extra virgin olive oil
1 cup dilis
1 tsp finely chopped garlic
1 1/2 cups tinned tomatoes, coarsely chopped w/ their juice
1/2 cup sliced black olives
1/4 cup capers, or 3 TBSP
salt and pepper
To do it:
1.  Cook pasta according to package direction.  Set aside, first.
2.  Heat olive oil in the pan, and saute garlic, then the dilis.
3.  Once dilis is cooked and tender but not head falling off, add the tomatoes and put stove in medium fire.  Let it simmer.
4.   Put the olives and capers.  Let it stand on heat for 5 more minutes, slowly mixing, then season with salt and pepper.
5.   If you are using a big saute or fry pan, that's good, so you can toss you pasta here.  Or you may want to transfer to a bigger pan to accomodate half a kilo of cooked pasta.
Option: You may put parmesan cheese, but in my case I didn't cause he dilis is salty already.   Also, be careful putting salt, taste the sauce first before seasoning it.  But you will find this to be a little tangy with the capers in it and very savoury.


  1. So easy and so perfect for a family dinner. Thanks.

  2. Looks interesting! I'm sure it is delicious as it looks.

  3. You're supposed to eat the whole fish? Head and all?

    Amy @ A Little Nosh

  4. Thank you for stopping by my blog. This looks like a calcium rich dish - perfect for women who are 30 plus!

  5. wow, you really put a great effort in cooking, swerte ng family mo.

  6. I will eat that for sure Joy. I have my own pasta dish very similar to your recipe. Pasta Puttanesca I used anchovies in olive oil - dilis in Filipino. I was inspired with 2 greedy Italian chef.

  7. Tried it, love it. With some workarounds for unavailable ingredients though. Thanks a lot for sharing!

    *Pareng Jay was here