Papa Delle’s Puttanesca (Fancy Papa John’s)
by Erik of Fancy Fast Food
Pizza is a versatile “ingredient” in the Fancy Fast Food kitchen. Thus far, we’ve fancified Domino’s into a Chinese-inspired Dao Mi Noh Chow Mein and Pizza Hut into an Indian-esque Chicken Pizza Masala. This time we’re turning to national pizza chain Papa John’s to make an Italian-inspired dish: pappardelle alla puttanesca. This may not seem like a stretch (Italian pasta from pizza?), but let’s not forget that Papa John’s roots aren’t in Italy but in Indiana, home of Ball State University.
Speaking of balls (how’s that for a stretch?), you’ve got to have a pretty big set of them to take Papa John’s “better ingredients” for a “better pizza”, and repurpose them to make a “better sauce” fit for… a whore. That’s what puttanesca is literally derived from Italian, anyway. Thankfully, Papa John has olives, onions, anchovies, tomatoes, and other toppings for us to improvise with, so you can bend over and sell yourself for a bowl of fake pasta:
Ingredients (from Papa John’s):
- 1 large thin crust pizza with light sauce and no cheese, topped with anchovies, onions, jalapeños, banana peppers, olives, and double tomatoes (request that it not be sliced)
- 1 little cup of Papa John’s Garlic Dipping Sauce
- PLUS: organic basil (for an extra touch of irony)
First, take off all the toppings: the tomatoes, the banana peppers, the jalapeños, the olives, the anchovies, and the onions. Then use a fork and scrape off the sauce and any residual toppings left on the crust, and save it for later.
We ordered the pizza unsliced, but now it’s time to take a knife or pizza slicer to the empty thin crust. Slice it into strips — each about an inch in width — and then cut off the hard crusty edges on the ends. Rinse your newly formed mock pappardelle noodles in a colander.
Next, the sauce. In lieu of fresh garlic and olive oil, start with the cup of Papa John’s Garlic Dipping Sauce; it’s full of oil anyway. Pour it into a skillet over a medium heat, add in some onions, toss in the anchovies, and sauté. To substitute a proper puttanesca’s chilies, dice some banana peppers; to substitute the capers, dice some caper-colored jalapeños. Add them to the pan, along with the olives. Dice the tomato slices and add them to the mix as well, along with the extra sauce you scraped from the crust. Stir and sauté it all until it’s all blended together.
Finally, the plating. Place the mock pappardelle noodles into a fancy pasta bowl, and then top it with the “whore sauce” you just made. Garnish with an ironic basil leaf, and presto: a mock bowl of pappardelle alla puttanesca fit for a whore, or your papa, or whomever has the balls to try it.
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