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Keep this pasta puttanesca recipe in your back pocket for a quick and impressive "shelf dinner."

Everyone needs a few go-to pasta recipes for an quick weeknight dinner or simple supper. A “back pocket pasta,” if you will. Food writer and Instagrammer Colu Henry has a new cookbook out packed with simple, inventive and classic pasta dishes. This perfect pasta puttanesca will feed a hungry crowd in under an hour, in great style. 

The name of this pasta cries shelf dinner (and plenty of other scandalous things). After researching the origins of this Ital­ian dish, I still couldn’t find a straight answer, but I think we all can agree that it uses many items that one should always have on hand: olives, capers, anchovies, and tomatoes. I’ve made this for a group of 14 when traveling through Provence as well as for many a dinner party in Portland, Oregon. It works everywhere, for every palate.

Cook’s Note: If you don’t have anchovies, use tuna or sardines, or skip the fish altogether! No oil-cured black olives? Use whatever jar of cocktail olives is hanging around in your fridge. What’s important here is a red, salty sauce with some funk — get down and dirty with it.

Reprinted with permission from Back Pocket Pasta