This dish is a flavourful combination of tomato, dried and fresh herbs, garlic, olives, chilli, capers and red wine.
My Quinoa Puttanesca is a delicious version of the Italian dish Spaghetti alla puttanesca (literally “spaghetti in the garbage style” or “spaghetti in the whore’s style” in Italian) which is a tangy, somewhat salty Italian pasta dish invented in the mid-20th century.
In this version I use quinoa instead of pasta. Quinoa is an ancient seed which is a great gluten-free alternative, less processed than pasta, an excellent source of fibre, low in fat and a good source of protein.
Serves: 2 people
Ready in: 20-30 minutes
*1 cup quinoa + 2 cups filtered water
*1-2 tsps oil (eg. extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil)
*3 cloves fresh garlic, sliced (preferable, but can use 1 heaped tsp minced garlic from a jar)
* 2-3 fresh tomatoes (preferably Roma)
*1 tsp dried Italian herb mix
*1/2 tsp-1 tsp chili flakes OR 1-2 fresh chillies, finely chopped
*1/4 cup sun dried tomatoes (soaked in 1/2 cup hot water, then finely chopped – reserve the water)
*1/3 cup Kalamata olives
*1 Tablespoon (4 tsp) capers
*1 Tablespoon (4 tsp) tomato paste
* 1/4 cup red wine
* Salt and black pepper to taste
* A handful of fresh herbs such as basil, parsley and/or oregano
1. Rinse and drain the quiona, then place in a small saucepan with the water and bring to a boil. Once boiling, turn down to medium-low and simmer for 15 minutes or until water is absorbed. Remove from heat and let stand for 5-10 min then fluff with a fork.
2. Meanwhile prepare the other ingredients. Gently heat the oil in a large fry pan and add the sliced garlic. Stir for 30-60 sec until the garlic is golden (be careful not to burn).
3. Add the chopped tomatoes, dried herbs, and chilli flakes then cook for 2-3 minutes more, until the tomato softens. If pan gets too dry, add some of the reserved liquid from soaking the sun-dried tomatoes.
4. Next add the sun-dried tomatoes, kalamata olives, capers, tomato paste and the red-wine. Continue to cook on medium-high heat for another 2-3 minutes.
5. Fluff the quinoa with a fork then add, 1/2 at a time to the fry pan and stir until combined. Stir through some roughly chopped fresh herbs.
6. Taste, and add a little salt if desired along with freshly cracked black pepper. Place into two bowls, top with more fresh herbs and enjoy!