Date Night With Jeff- Italian Trattoria on the Front Porch

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Dear Husband,

The other night you walked up to the corner market with me to buy ingredients for Pasta Puttanesca. You carried the heavy bags home like a true gentleman. You talked to me, poured wine, and made me laugh while I cooked…and as usual you took beautiful pictures for me so I could record our experience on my blog and in the scrapbook at a later date. You make our date nights so special. I love you!


Some of the ingredients for the aphrodisiac dish…


Trattoria Favilla

My grandma Darling’s maiden name is Favilla. She’s a real Italian lady! She makes spaghetti sauce that would knock your socks off! I thought it would be fun to pretend we were in Favilla Italy (an actual place in Italy where I am in some way or another related to all of the residents. Can’t wait to visit some day.) I also thought it would be fun to write our menu on our Trattoria board and put it on the porch so we could imagine ourselves at a little restaurant in Italy!

Our kitty cat Alice checks the menu…mmmmm…fish pasta! She approves!


The Wine

Of course we had to have genuine Italian Chianti with our meal. This one is particularly good with bold flavors of black currant, violets, Bing cherries and leather. Perfect with pasta and red sauce or grilled beef.


Pasta Puttanesca!

4 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 Tablespoon real butter

5 garlic cloves, minced

2 cans clams, drained

2 cans flat anchovies, drained

1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

20 Kalamata olives

1 (3.5 oz) jar capers

1 (32 oz) can Muir Glenn fire roasted tomatoes, diced

a splash of chianti

freshly ground black pepper

1/4 cup fresh Italian parsley, chopped

1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped

1 onion, chopped fine

1 jar marinated artichoke hearts

5 large portobello mushrooms

In a large, heavy skillet, over medium heat, add 2 of the Tablespoons of olive oil, garlic, anchovies and crushed pepper. Saute mixture until anchovies melt into the oil and completely dissolve, and garlic is tender. (About 3 minutes) Add olives, capers, tomatoes, black pepper, parsley, and basil. Bring sauce to a low boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 8-10 minutes.

In a separate skillet, heat the other 2 Tablespoons of olive oil. Saute the finely chopped onion until golden. Add the butter and heat until melted. Add the chopped Portobellos, and heat until slightly golden and tender. Add the artichoke hearts and clams and heat through. Combine the onion mixture with the tomato mixture and toss with linguini that has been cooked until ‘al dente.’ Serve with Parmigiano Reggiano and crusty Italian bread and butter.


Don’t forget the romantic candle light!

How do you celebrate your marriage or significant relationship? What do you do on date night?



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  7 comments for “Date Night With Jeff- Italian Trattoria on the Front Porch

  1. Sandy
    May 7, 2010 at 10:07 am

    I would love to comment….
    Well, my loving husband will go to the store not with me, but if I am out of town for a couple of weeks or a month and no food in the house or if I am sick and dying and again no food in the house…..He is a very simple eater…Meat, bread and a potato (very basic).

    That romantic way that we celebrate date night, now remember I cook from the box or if the store or a restaurant makes it I am in, we go to Outback or sometimes a little quite restaurant in one of small close community….

    Note: we have been married now for forty-one years…

    I was asked at one time about writing a book about my everyday life…The newspapers called it a Erma’s style…Sandy

  2. May 7, 2010 at 3:55 pm

    I’m glad that Jeff does a lot of the shopping on his way home from work, and that I don’t have to. As much as I like to cook, I don’t like going to the grocery store. People that actually clip coupons astound me. I can’t imagine taking the time to do so. The only grocery stores I enjoy are Kowalski’s and Byerly’s, and we don’t have either in Red Wing 🙂

    I know a lot of people who love Outback. Haven’t been to one in years! Maybe we should give it a try again.

    Maybe you should write a book about your everyday life. Erma Bombeck style? Awesome!


  3. May 14, 2010 at 9:10 pm

    Ahhh. Best pasta puttanesca recipe ever. Love you.

  4. May 14, 2010 at 9:17 pm

    Love you too 🙂

  5. Kimber Dunn
    May 17, 2010 at 11:18 pm

    awwwww, you two are just amazingly romantic and sweet!!! You’re so lucky to have found the kind of love you did with each other!!!

  6. May 18, 2010 at 4:43 am

    thanks for saying that Kimber…I am a lucky girl. 😉

  7. Christina
    June 8, 2014 at 11:52 pm

    I’m def going to try this recipe next week. My husband loves putanescca! Actually I think he loves eating the olives.

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