Merluzzo Pasta Puttanesca - Pimp My Cod!

Merluzzo is Codfish in Italian, and I just thought it would look cooler in the title. In case you've never heard of a "Puttanesca" sauce before, it's Italian for "in the style of the whore." I know, it sounds appetizing doesn’t it? But, it really is a fantastic and fast pasta sauce that can be prepared and tossed on plain pasta, or used as a base for a more complex recipe as I have done here. I've taken the basic Puttanesca sauce and added fresh codfish and Arugula to create a very nice, and quite healthy seafood pasta. By the way, it tastes much better than it looks! The black olive tapenade I added makes for a sort of grey and muddy looking sauce, but when you dress it up with a little parmesan on top and more red pepper flakes, it suddenly becomes much more attractive (insert your own prostitute joke here).

Now, as far as the story behind the Puttanesca sauce's origins, there are many stories, some more "colorful" than others. It is pretty much agreed upon that Naples was the birthplace, but that's about all that people don't argue about. What follows are the most common explanations of this delicious sauce; the ladies of the night made this pasta sauce because the irresistible aroma would help draw in customers. It was created as a quick and cheap meal the ladies could eat in between customers. It is hot, spicy, and fast, as are the woman for whom it's named.

Regardless of the true origin, it's a great sauce, and one that should be part of your regular pasta rotation, no matter what your own personal level of virtue happens to be. I've made this version much lower calorie by reducing the usual amount of olive oil and replaced it with stock and wine. Enjoy!

1 pound fresh cod
2 cups chicken or fish stock (or water)
1 pound pasta
1 cup white wine
2 tbl anchovy paste
2 tbl red pepper flakes
6 cloves garlic
2 tbl olive tapenade or chopped olives
1/4 cup capers
1 bunch Arugula (about 2-3 cups)
2 tbl olive oil
1/2 cup parmesan