Sunday, March 24, 2013


The idea to make pasta puttanesca with shrimp and feta cheese came to me when I was reading Andrea Camilleri's "The shape of water," featuring inspector Montalbano.  I was reading it for Cook The Books Club  and I had to think of something nice to make that reminded me of the book.  This dish with its briny sauce, briny feta cheese and shrimp, reminded me of the seaside where inspector Montalbano liked to stroll.   It is an enjoyable dish and very easy prepare.  I love how Greek and Italian ingredients are combined here: strong Mediterranean roots!  This dish depends on freshness, so working quickly when preparing it is important.  I had the idea of garnishing the pasta with some fresh grape tomatoes which are very abundant at the market this time of year.  They are imported all the way from Mexico and are very tasty.  These little tomatoes are a special treat to have during the winter, plus they went well with the rest of the "package."  
All these ingredients go so well together!


olive oil
1 tablespoon butter  
1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 pound linguini
½ pound sliced mushrooms
2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
2 tablespoon crumbled feta cheese
1 can (28-ounces) whole tomatoes, cut into chunks
some grape tomatoes cut in half, to be used for garnish
4 or 5 anchovy fillets
2 tablespoons capers, rinsed
1 teaspoon red pepper seeds, or use more if you prefer
4 cloves of garlic, chopped
15 pitted Kalamata olives, sliced in half
¼ cup fresh Italian parsley, chopped

First prepare the pasta and shrimp.
In a large skillet heat 3 tablespoons olive oil and sauté the mushrooms and thyme.  When they are tender add one tablespoon butter and the shrimp. Cook for about  3 minutes, until the shrimp have turned pink. Remove from the heat, add the feta cheese and season with freshly ground black pepper.
Can eat it just like this, right?

Meanwhile, fill a large pot with salted water and bring it to a boil. Drop in the linguini and cook according to package directions.
Drain the pasta and place in a large bowl.  Sprinkle some olive oil on the pasta and mix.  Add the shrimp mixture, and some parsley and mix well.  

Cover and set aside.
Now make the putanesca sauce.
In a pan heat some olive oil and add the garlic, along with the anchovies, red pepper seeds, and capers.  Cook for about one minute, stirring.  Add the tomatoes and olives and cook for about 10 to 15 minutes.
Add the sauce to the pasta and shrimp and mix well. 
Garnish with the grape tomatoes and the rest of the parsley and serve along with grated cheese.    


  1. Thank you for sharing this delicious recipe !
    yummy !

  2. Yummmmmm....this looks absolutely gorgeous, Ana. A feast for the eyes as well as the tastebuds. All those colours...all those textures...all those different tastes combinined into one gorgeous dish. Thanks for sharing this, Ana.