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Dashboard Pasta Puttanesca

This is the pasta sauce version of sun tea. Adapted from a recipe Ann Curry made on the NBC Today Show in 2005 it is a rich, flavorful dish that is also good for your heart. If you are a garlic lover, you will love this dish. It is absolutely fantastic!

There is no way to hurry this dish and no replicating what an afternoon in the sun on your RV dashboard or campsite table can do to bring out the rich flavors in this sauce. Your patience will be rewarded!

Start with really good ingredients. Pick really good tasting tomatoes. Cherry or grape tomatoes are best, but Roma work too. The key is to pick a flavorful type, not a tomato that just looks pretty with no taste. Use really good quality black olives. I buy the ones at the olive bar or deli counter in the grocery store. They are so much better than canned. Fresh basil is really important. The basil can be washed if needed, but pat the leaves with a paper towel so they are very dry with no water before adding to the sauce. I like to use shell pasta because it catches the sauce which is so good you want a lot of it but other pasta shapes work too.

I can not take any credit for this recipe but I can tell you it is absolutely wonderful! I have been making it ever since that show aired.


 3 cups extra virgin olive oil, the good stuff
 1-2 Bunches fresh basil, coarsely chopped
 1 1/2 cups black Greek olives, pitted
 2 cups tomatoes, chopped
 1 (2 ounces) Tube of anchovy paste = 5 Tablespoons
 1 bulb garlic, freshly chopped
 1 box (10-12 ounces) pasta shells
 freshly grated parmesan cheese for garnish
 fresh bread, optional


In a bowl with a lid mix the garlic, olive oil and black olives. I like to break up and squeeze the olives with my fingers to remove pits and bring out the flavor. Add tomatoes, anchovy paste and basil leaves, stir then cover.

The best way to cook the sauce is to mix everything in the morning, cover tightly and let it sit in the warm sun on the RV dashboard or the campsite table on a summer day for about five hours. If you don't have a warm window or sunny table you can heat it in a very low oven, making sure it is only warm, not hot. But it will not be quite as good.

When it is time for dinner, cook and drain the pasta. Mix in the sauce, top with parmesan cheese and serve with some crusty French, Italian or Greek bread to soak up the sauce. Enjoy!


Serves: a very big family (we are working on a smaller version)
Basil Olive_Oil Olives Tomatoes Anchovy_Paste Garlic Pasta Stovetop

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You may notice that some of our recipes do not contain exact measurements for all ingredients. Cooking on the road is an art more than a science. We view each recipe as only a suggestion - a starting point for your own personal creativity.

We aren't usually dealing with food chemistry in these recipes since we aren't baking with leavening, etc., so feel free to use as much or as little of any suggested ingredient. Be creative and imaginative! Substitute the foods you like or have available for the ones in the recipes. And if you find something that turns out well for you, please share it with the rest of us.