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Impromptu Puttanesca

Indio, California:  Another day of DT pecking-away at his laptop and on conference calls. I pretty-much stayed out of his way and spent some time this afternoon with my boyfriend Henry, enjoying a lovely pedicure and foot massage. Sigh. As long as I was there, I treated myself to a manicure. Dang, do I look amazing.

Ha.

Remember last night when I had planned a simple pasta dinner, but we went up to the clubhouse for dinner at the last minute instead? One of the menu items last night was Puttanesca with Artichoke Hearts. Hmmm... that sounded like something we would really enjoy. I was planning to prepare a Puttanesca sauce myself last night, since I had anchovies left over from the Caesar salad Wednesday night and tons of juicy tomatoes from the Cardenas Mexican Grocer. I only needed to pick up a tin of quartered artichoke hearts.

I sauteed one large chopped onion and five cloves of minced garlic in olive oil, then added chili flakes, anchovies (they just melt into the onions), red wine, 8 big diced tomatoes, fresh basil, dried oregano, chopped sun dried tomatoes and black pepper. I let the sauce simmer for about one hour and then smashed it down with a potato masher. About twenty minutes before serving, I added slivered kalamata olives, capers and the entire can of rinsed quartered artichoke hearts.

The sauce was tossed with spaghetti. Delicious! I have a basic (very RV-friendly)Puttanesca recipe on this website, but it is always fun to change things up sometimes. Simply switching-out super-ripe fresh tomatoes for canned tomatoes made for a bright-colored sauce. I did not peel, seed or core the tomatoes - just chopped 'em up. Fiber!

NOTE TO COOKS: Because this dish involves anchovies, capers and olives, it can tend to be a bit over-salted. To reduce salt, soak the capers and olives in water for ten minutes, drain, rinse and soak again. Rinse before adding to the pot - this will help quite a bit and is a good trick to add to your caper/olive repertoire. My concoction resulted in quite a bit of sauce - plenty for an entire pound of pasta - so I will take half of the sauce to Los Angeles tomorrow morning. We are driving to the Big City to visit a certain little guy:Bubbe needs a Leo fix.

Until my next update, I remain, your Shabbat Shalom correspondent.

SLOGGER REPORT:  Dear Residents of the Motorcoach Country Club, please do not fry bacon between the hours of 8-9a. It is cruel. I don't even eat pork, yet can barely resist the lure of that fatty smoked odor. I felt good today, so ran 4 miles.... very slowly, and I stopped twice to chat with gal pals. Wish I had it in me to run at least four miles every day. JUST DO IT. (And never end a sentence in a preposition.)

RV Park:  Motorcoach Country Club - The Crown Jewel of Motorcoach Resorts. 400 sites, three pools, three spas, fitness center, golf, bocce ball, tennis, 2-mile waterway, fine-dining restaurant, bar, security, free wifi, planned activities, perfectly maintained. Sites for sale or rent.