If I had to vote for the easiest meal I’ve posted in this Meatless Monday blog over the past few years, it would probably be this one. Normally, I cook everything from scratch. Because of this, I assume anything I make is going to take time.
The toppings for this gem took only a few minutes to prepare. This makes it a great in-a-hurry meal for busy days. Like pasta puttanesca, it is salty and forward-flavored.
There are many legends about how the name, “puttanesca” came about. The most family friendly of them is this (from Pasta Amore):
“Some believe that it was a sauce created by a restaurant owner who had many guests come to his restaurant to eat late one night as he was about to close. He didn’t have enough of any one ingredient to make a meal for them all so he took everything out of his kitchen and put it together to make this legendary Italian pasta sauce.”
Other legends about the sauce are quite a bit saltier, considering that “puttana” is the Italian word for “lady of the night.” I’ll leave it there.
For the crust, I used Whole Foods’ pizza dough. You can find it in the deli area. All you have to do is roll it out onto a floured pizza pan. Sprinkle some flour onto the top of the dough before you begin rolling or pressing it out into the pan to prevent sticking.
I found this recipe in Vegan Planet by Robin Robertson, but I’ve altered the measurements a bit. I also added fresh rosemary to cut the saltiness of the olives and capers a bit. The toppings are enough for a 15-inch round or 13×9-inch rectangle.
Meatless Monday: Pizza Puttanesca
- pizza dough, homemade, store-bought, or a frozen crust
- 1 cup tomato-based pasta sauce, homemade or from a jar
- 1/3 cup sliced kalamata olives
- 1/3 cup sliced green olives
- 2 tablespoons capers
- 2-3 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
- If you’re using Whole Foods dough, or an equivalent premade dough, take it out of the fridge an hour before you plan to put it into the oven.
- Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
- Rinse the olives and capers.
- Slice the olives and then mix them in a small bowl, along with the capers, into the tomato sauce.
- After the dough has rested for about an hour, sprinkle some flour or cornmeal onto the surface of a pizza pan. Place the dough ball onto the pan and sprinkle some flour or cornmeal over the surface of it. Press or roll the dough out to the edges of your pan. If you’re using a pre-rolled frozen crust, you can skip this step.
- Spread the tomato sauce and toppings onto the dough, leaving a 1/2- to 1-inch border.
- Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until the sauce is no longer soupy and the crust is nicely browned.
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