Spicy cod puttanesca with spaghettini & pickled cauliflower [Recipe]


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Reprinted from Blue Apron

This classic Italian pasta dish with a debated history and racy name — which we won’t translate here — is full of tangy, salty and spicy flavors. To update the traditional recipe, we used spaghettini, a thinner version of spaghetti, and substituted cod for anchovies.

Makes 3 servings; about 535 calories per serving



  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 1 bunch fresh oregano
  • 1 ounce Castelvetrano olives
  • ¼ head cauliflower
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 2 fillets cod
  • 1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon capers
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 8 ounces spaghettini



1. Prepare the ingredients.

Wash and dry the fresh produce. Heat a medium pot of salted water to boiling on high heat. Peel all 5 garlic cloves. Smash 2 cloves to flatten them, then thinly slice the other cloves. Roughly chop the oregano leaves. Using the side of your knife, flatten the olives and remove the pits; then roughly chop. Chop the cauliflower into small florets and place in a heat-safe bowl or jar.


2. Pickle the cauliflower.

Add the red wine vinegar to the cauliflower. In a small pot, heat the smashed garlic cloves, sugar, black peppercorns, a pinch of salt and 1 cup of water to boiling over high heat. Remove from heat and pour over the cauliflower. Set aside as you continue cooking.


3. Cook the fish.

Pat the cod fillets dry, and season with salt and pepper on both sides. In a large pan, heat a couple of teaspoons of oil on high until hot. Cook the seasoned cod for 2 to 3 minutes per side, or until browned. Transfer to a plate and set aside. Wipe out the pan.


4. Make the sauce.

In the same pan, heat a little olive oil over medium until hot. Add the garlic; cook 5 to 15 seconds, or until fragrant, stirring frequently. Add the crushed tomatoes, capers, half of the oregano and as much of the red chili flakes as you’d like, depending on how spicy you’d like the dish to be. Bring to a boil, and reduce the heat to low. Simmer 3 to 4 minutes, or until the sauce is slightly thickened; season with salt and pepper to taste. Add the cooked fish and simmer 6 to 7 minutes, or until the fish is cooked through and firm, stirring occasionally. Turn off the heat.


5. Cook the pasta.

While the sauce is simmering, add the spaghettini to the boiling water; cook 8 to 10 minutes, or until al dente. Reserve ¼ cup of pasta water; then add the cooked noodles to the sauce. Cook the pasta and sauce on medium heat for 1 to 2 minutes, or until heated through, stirring to thoroughly coat the noodles and gently break apart the fish fillets. If desired, you may add up to ¼ cup of pasta water to create a looser sauce.


6. Plate your dish.

Turn off the heat and stir in the olives; then season with salt and pepper to taste. To plate your dish, divide the pasta between 2 dishes. Garnish with the remaining oregano. Serve the pickled cauliflower on the side. Enjoy!



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