Tonight’s irony packed supper

It being an Ember Friday I ate rather little today, and I am avoiding meat.

So, I thought to prime myself for a workout tonight with some pasta and things from the garden.

I picked a mess of these little bitty tomatoes.


What to do?

I looked in the fridge and saw some olives that needed using.

“Ma va!”, quoth I!  “I know what I’ll do!”

So… I gathered a few ingredients.


“But Father! But Father!”, you are surely saying.  “Capers? Anchovy paste? EWWEEEEW!”

Those of you who have a little more knowledge see the anchovy, olives, tomatoes, hot pepper, and…

This can only mean Spaghetti “alla puttanesca“.

The water was boiling and the sauce is ready in a flash.  Time to move!

And I as reached for the spaghetti, I noticed that package of pasta sent by a reader of this blog who used my wish list.

And.. with a chuckle, I made….




Strozzapreti alla puttanesca.

And if you were wondering… fantastic.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. mimimarimi says:

    Beautiful! I think I’ll be stopping for anchovies on the way home from work tonight

  2. That was really good.

    And I survived!

  3. Vincenzo says:

    That looks perfect.

  4. SophiaGrace says:

    I smiled and chuckled and laughed out loud reading this entry and response, Father. So very glad you survived! (and I’m glad you survived the pasta meal too!) Tanti auguri!

  5. HighMass says:

    Don Giovanni,

    In Italia lei decano, il mangare Italiano e meglio del tutte il mondo, e vero no???

  6. Rouxfus says:

    My wife makes puttanesca a couple of times each month. It is our favorite, and the kids love it.

  7. Supertradmum says:

    Really good looking at well. Half of eating is the aesthetic.

  8. Supertradmum says:

    PS if we are celebrating Our Lady of Walsingham, doesn’t that take precedence over an Ember Friday?

  9. Supertradmum says:

    PPS I have wondered whether “priest choker” meant the collar or a person, or the length of the spaghetti, and of course, the dame de la nuit reference could mean the same thing????

  10. In England I am sure it would!

  11. Fr. Z, we observe the Ember Day Friday, as well.
    Our Friday supper was minestrone with things from the garden (green beans, tomatoes, fresh herbs)
    with a tomato juice base, onions, garlic and pasta.
    No complaints here!

  12. JulieC says:

    Looks so yummy, Father. Please keep the tomato recipes coming! We’re being overrun by tomatoes here. Every day my kids bring in more buckets of the cute little red monsters for me to process. My husband went a little overboard with the organic fish fertilizer this summer, and our cherry tomatoes are GIGANTIC, and the heirloom tomatoes ENORMOUS. However, I’m running out of ideas.

  13. danphunter1 says:

    Looks delicious, Father.
    Speaking of anchovies, I had some on my slice of pizza for supper.
    Anchovies and capers are two of Almighty Gods signs that he loves mankind.

  14. Laura says:

    Fr. Z — I love how you whip up delicious things in a flash. If anyone wanted to send you more Strozzapreti or something else — where would we mail it?

    God bless.

  15. Fr Matthew says:

    I’m with danphunter1… anchovies and capers are wonderful. I don’t think I’ve had pasta alla puttanesca – the name is not familiar to me – but it looks so good that now I’ll have to try it!

  16. Kerry says:

    Father, the tomatoes, are they Principe Borghese’s?

  17. Ismael says:

    Perhaps you already know this but ‘Strozzapreti’ means ‘priest chocker’ (chocker in the sense of choking not the ornament) in Italian (I am originally from Italy).

    Anyway now I am really hungry!

  18. Principe Borghese’s? No, I have my own.

  19. Dr. Eric says:

    What’s going on? I was told that the Ember Days were last week. I fasted and abstained W, F, & S last week. I think this is why The Church needs to reinstitute the Ember Days back onto the Universal Calendar.

  20. ipadre says:

    Looks real good except for the anchovy paste.

  21. When you’re observing non-obligatory stuff, I think it really is the thought that counts. :) Some of these things have all kinds of weird little rules within rules that are hard for even knowledgeable people to figure out, and so there are probably all sorts of different dates floating around, depending on the year. Shrug. This is when you’re supposed to apply St. Paul’s advice about dates – ie, don’t worry about them too much.

    But of course, there’s nothing stopping the Church, or individual dioceses, from putting out an official calendar that includes even non-obligatory stuff.

  22. catholicmidwest says:

    I don’t like anchovies, but that’s not why I posted. I posted because I have no idea what an Ember day might be.

  23. catholicmidwest says:

    Ah thank you, Charles. Good information.

  24. Supertradmum says:

    The Ember Days for 2010 are as follows from The Postulant Blog. I really like the mnemonic tool given…

    * February 24, 26, and 27 (the Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday after the First Sunday in Lent)
    * May 26, 28, and 29 (the Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday after the Feast of Pentecost)
    * September 15, 17, and 18 (the Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday after Holy Cross Day)
    * December 15, 17, and 18 (the Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday after December 13)

    Since December 13 is, in some calendars anyway, the Feast of Saint Lucy, the mnemonic “Lenty, Penty, Crucy, Lucy” may prove helpful.

  25. Supertrad: Actually, I believe this week is Ember week.

    It seems there are always problems with the calculation of Ember Weeks.

  26. Supertradmum says:

    Sorry, I am confused, but your other entry has helped considerably.

  27. PaterAugustinus says:

    Strozzapreti Puttanesca? On an Ember Day? O Tempora! O Mores!

    Out of curiosity, the old Sarum Use had something called a Pica or Pye (whence the expression “Easy as Pye” actually derives, or so I’m told). Does today’s Roman Use still have such a thing? It was a very handy way to figure out exactly what was supposed to be done on any given day, since it calculated all the possible configurations of the Church calendar from year to year. If one knew the year’s Golden Number and Dominical Letter, he could simply look for the date under that heading, and it would tell him exactly what to do after all the seasons, translations, octaves, etc., had been accounted for. It almost totally eliminated the possibility of “user error” when attempting to figure out what feast, memorial or fast was observed on a given day.

  28. Mariana says:

    Ouch, what a ghastly name for a dish! I wouldn’t even want to say it, is there no other name for the sauce?

  29. irishgirl says:

    Looks good, Father Z!

    I didn’t have too much for dinner myself on Friday…my cupboard’s getting bare. I have to go grocery shopping today.

    I try not to eat meat on Friday, in reparation for the sin of abortion.

  30. RochesterCatholic says:

    Wouldn’t a better name be “Strozzapreti alla puttanesca di Babilonia”?


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