You can use a bottled puttanesca sauce for this summery pasta dish, but the roasted tomato sauce here has an intense, caramelized flavor. Cookbook author Kathy Gunst does not peel the tomatoes for this chunky sauce, but you can.
Make Ahead: You'll have leftover sauce, which can be refrigerated for up to 4 days, frozen for up to 6 months or canned via the water-bath method for up to 8 months.
- For the sauce
- About 4 pounds ripe tomatoes (any variety), hulled and cut into quarters
- 3 medium onion, cut into quarters
- 8 cloves garlic (2 finely chopped; 6 left whole)
- 1/2 cup mixed fresh chopped herbs, such as basil, thyme, oregano, parsley and/or chives
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- Generous grinding of black pepper
- 1/2 cup pitted black olives
- 1/3 cup drained capers
- Crushed red pepper flakes
- For the pasta
- Kosher salt
- 8 ounces dried linguine
- 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
- 8 ounces fresh baby spinach
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup pine nuts
- Grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, for serving
For the sauce: Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Have a large roasting pan at hand.
Gently toss together the tomatoes, onions, the whole and chopped garlic, herbs and oil in the roasting pan. Season with the salt and pepper to taste. Roast for 25 minutes, then gently stir the vegetables. Roast for another 15 minutes, then gently toss. Add the olives, capers and crushed red pepper flakes (to taste). Roast for 15 to 25 minutes or until the tomatoes have somewhat broken down into a chunky sauce that is browned in spots. Keep warm until just before serving.
For the pasta: Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the linguine and cook until just tender (according to the package directions).
Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large skillet over high heat. Add the spinach in handfuls and cook, stirring, until just wilted, about 3 minutes. Season with the salt and pepper to taste. Keep warm until just before serving.
Toast the pine nuts in a small, dry skillet over low heat for 4 to 6 minutes or until they begin to turn a pale brown and you can smell the nuttiness. Remove from the heat and let cool.
Drain the pasta and transfer it to a large bowl or serving platter. Pour about 2 cups of the warm sauce on top and toss. The pasta should be well coated. Spoon the warm spinach on top and sprinkle with the toasted pine nuts.
Serve hot, with grated cheese passed at the table.
From Maine cookbook author Kathy Gunst.
Tested by Bonnie S. Benwick.
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