Pasta Puttanesca with slow-cooked chicken drumsticks

Pasta fantastica! PAT PILCHER with a simple but delicious pasta recipe that you’ll find yourself making over and over.

Pasta Puttanesca is one of those dishes that has a tonne of quirky and interesting stories surrounding it. One story is that the name of the dish came from the brothels in Rome’s Spanish Quarter (The Italian word for whore is puttana). The story goes that hooker’s work usually meant they didn’t get to shop at one of Rome’s many produce markets, so hungry prostitutes would cook up a meal with whatever they had left in their mostly-empty pantry.

Another story says that Puttanesca came about in the 1950s when an Ischia restaurateur was trying to close for the night and a group of hungry customers asked him to make “una puttanata qualsiasi,” or to throw together the few ingredients he had to cook up a simple meal. The story goes that the owner had some tomatoes, olives and capers, which is the base for puttanesca sauce.

 

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Either way, puttanesca pasta is simple, and with the addition of slow cook chicken drumsticks, it’s delicious too. Here’s a Thermomix recipe that is an absolute doddle to cook and its non-Thermomix version (below), which is still easy-peasy. I prefer this recipe without lemon juice, cinnamon or sugar and while the recipe suggests garnishing with parsley, I often garnish with roasted capsicum for added sweetness.

Puttanesca Finished Dish

Ingredients

  • 7 – 8 chicken drumsticks (skin on)
  • 1 tsp sweet paprika
  • ¼ – ½ tsp hot paprika (to taste)
  • ¼ tsp ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 ¼ tsp salt
  • extra virgin olive oil, to fry
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 10 – 20 g fresh long red chilli, trimmed and deseeded if preferred
  • 5 sprigs fresh flat-leaf parsley, leaves only, plus extra to garnish
  • 20 g anchovy fillets (drained)
  • 30 g pickled capers (drained)
  • 700 g tomato passata (can be substituted with tinned tomatoes)
  • 200 g water
  • 10 – 20 g freshly squeezed lemon juice, to taste (this can be omitted)
  • 1 – 2 pinches ground cinnamon (this can be omitted)
  • ½ tsp ground cayenne pepper
  • 1 ½ tsp raw sugar (this can be omitted)
  • ½ tsp ground black pepper
  • 80 g pitted black olives (drained)
  • 400g dried or fresh pasta
Puttanesca ingredients

Thermomix Recipe

  • Put the chicken drumsticks into a large bowl.
  • Sprinkle with sweet paprika, hot paprika, ¼ teaspoon of the black pepper and 1½ teaspoon of the salt and toss to combine.
Puttanesca drumsticks coated
  • Set aside for approx. 30 minutes to marinate at room temperature.
  • Line a plate with paper towel and set aside.
  • Place a frying pan over medium-high heat and add oil. Fry marinated drumsticks on each side until the skin becomes golden brown.
  • Transfer browned drumsticks onto lined plate and set aside.
Puttanesca drumsticks frying
  • Place garlic, chilli and half the parsley into mixing bowl and chop 3 sec/speed 7. Scrape down sides of mixing bowl with spatula.
  • Add oil, anchovies and capers and cook 5 min/120°C/speed 1. Transfer into a bowl and set aside.
  • Insert blade cover Place reserved anchovy and capers mixture, passata, water, lemon juice, cinnamon, cayenne pepper, sugar, the remaining ½ teaspoon black pepper and ¾ teaspoon of salt into mixing bowl and mix with aid of the spatula. (I usually omit lemon juice, sugar and cinnamon)
Puttanesca capers
  • Add reserved chicken drumsticks and cook 30 min/98°C/speed.
  • Add the olives and cook 80 min/98°C/speed.
  • Remove drumsticks using kitchen tongs and place onto a shallow serving dish. Carefully remove blade cover. Pour sauce over chicken, garnish with parsley and serve immediately.

 

 

Non-Thermomix Recipe

  • Put the chicken drumsticks into a large bowl and sprinkle with sweet paprika, hot paprika, ¼ teaspoon of the black pepper and 1½ teaspoon of the salt and toss to combine, making sure the drumsticks are reasonably covered.
  • Set aside for approx. 30 minutes to marinate at room temperature.
  • Line a plate with paper towel and set aside.
  • Place a frying pan over medium-high heat and add oil. Fry marinated drumsticks on each side until the skin becomes golden brown.
  • Transfer browned drumsticks onto lined plate and set aside.

 

Puttanesca fried drumsticks

 

  • Finely Chop garlic, chilli and parsley
  • Add the oil, garlic, chilli and parsley, anchovies and capers into a pot and cook at 120°C until the garlic is cooked. Transfer into a bowl and set aside.
  • Add the anchovy and capers mixture, plus the passata and water plus cayenne pepper plus ½ teaspoon black pepper and ¾ teaspoon of salt into a casserole dish.
  • Add the chicken drumsticks into the casserole dish. Cover and cook in an oven for 40 minutes at 98°C.
  • Add the olives into the casserole dish. Cover and cook for 80 minutes at 98°C

 

Puttanesca olives

 

  • At 12–10 minutes before the casserole dish sauce and chicken mixture is cooked, start cooking pasta as per its cooking instructions
  • Drain and set the cooked pasta aside
  • Remove drumsticks from the sauce mix using kitchen tongs.
  • Add the pasta to the sauce and mix.
  • Place chicken 2 drumsticks per place and add pasta, Pour over any remaining sauce and garnish with chopped parsley.

 

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