Serious Eats: Recipes

Dinner Tonight: Tomato Sauce with Pine Nuts, Capers, Olives, and Raisins

One of my favorite ways to rethink tomato sauce is the classic alla puttanesca rendition, where the tomatoes are fortified with capers, olives, and pungent anchovies. This recipe from Naples, from Nancy Harmon Jenkins' exhaustive tome of Southern Italian cooking Cucina del Sole, is reminiscent of puttanesca, but with the sweet and nutty addition of raisins and pine nuts. It can be tossed with pasta or served with a piece of fish.

Wait a second, raisins? It probably doesn't come to mind first, but raisins in savory preparations can be found throughout Italy (and elsewhere in Europe, like Spain), often with pine nuts—the Roman classic with spinach is a great one. They add a burst of sweetness that makes the savory, piquant olives and capers that much more assertive.

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