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Valentine's Day Pasta Puttanesca

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Celebrate Valentine’s Day with this authentic Italian dish. This pasta is also great for a big gathering. It works well as a starter dish or as a main dish for a smaller group. One peeled, diced carrot may be used in place of the sugar for a milder, sweeter and healthier substitute.

What You Need:

(Makes: 8 servings)

1 package (16 ounces) of penne pasta

1 medium carrot, finely chopped

3 anchovy fillets

1 tablespoon of olive oil

1/4 cup of pitted Greek olives, chopped

1/4 cup of oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, drained

5 garlic cloves, minced

2 tablespoons of capers, drained

2 teaspoons of dried oregano

2 teaspoons of dried thyme

2 teaspoons of fennel seed, crushed

1 to 1 & 1/2 teaspoons of crushed red pepper flakes

1 can (28 ounces) of diced tomatoes, undrained

1 tablespoon of tomato paste

1/2 teaspoon of sugar

6 fresh basil leaves, thinly sliced

3 tablespoons of grated Parmesan cheese

What to Do:

STEP 1) Cook the pasta according to package directions.

STEP 2) Meanwhile, in a Dutch oven, sauté the carrot and anchovy fillets in oil until carrot is tender. Stir in the olives, sun-dried tomatoes, garlic, capers, oregano, thyme, fennel and pepper flakes; cook 1 minute longer. Stir in the diced tomatoes, tomato paste and sugar. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 10 to 15 minutes or until thickened.

STEP 3) Drain the pasta. Add pasta and basil to sauce mixture; toss to coat. Sprinkle with cheese.

STEP 4) Happy Valentine’s Day & Enjoy!

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