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On Valentine’s Day of 2005, I invited all of my best girlfriend’s over for a Lonely Hearts Club Dinner…none of us were dating at the time. My table was set with custom made Valentine place cards. My wine glasses from Garden Ridge sparkled like the gleaming crystals of my favorite Callie necklace. An enormous bowl of Pasta Puttanesca was ready to serve and filled my tiny apartment with all the best aromas of Italy.

My favorite part, however, came when I described to them the origins of the name, Puttanesca. In Italy, puttana literally translates as a ‘Lady of the Street’ (or prostitute) and apparently I found this hilarious to serve to my friends. I seem to remember someone choking on/spitting out red wine…and possibly a colorful conversation followed. Katy, Kim, Alli…you guys were there…

I believe this recipe is an excellent choice to serve on Valentine’s Day whether for a couple’s dinner party, or for a romantic dinner at home with your Love. There is very little prep work, therefore very little clean up, and you are left with a tasty, hearty meal for everyone to enjoy.  It’s quick and easy…just as its name implies.


12 ounces fettuccine

olive oil

1 pound frozen shrimp (21-25 count), thawed

1 26 oz jar marinara sauce

1 cup diced tomatoes with juice

1/2 cup sun dried tomatoes (drained if packed in oil), chopped

1/2 cup pitted kalamata olives

1/2 cup capers, drained

2 slices cooked bacon, chopped

1 cup Italian parsley, stemmed and minced


1.) Cook pasta according to package directions, toss lightly with olive oil and cover until ready to use.

2.) In a large saucepan, heat marinara, tomatoes, olives and capers and bacon over medium high heat.

3.) Reduce heat to simmer and add shrimp. Cook only as long needed to cook the shrimp through, about 5-8 minutes.

4.) Divide pasta among 6 pasta bowls or plates. Ladle sauce and shrimp over the pasta, being sure several shrimp are on top. Garnish the edges of the bowls with minced parsley.

Serves 6

Buon appetito!

-ciao for now-


photo credit to Patrizia Montanari

PS: Happy Birthday to my lovely sister-in-law, Allison! Hope your day is a beautiful one!


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