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Pasta Puttanesca(Named after Italian ladies of the night- its cheap and easy to make)

1 pound spaghetti, linguine or other thin pasta 2 cans peeled Italian plum tomatoes
1/4 cup best-quality olive oil 1 teaspoon oregano
1/8 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes 1/2 cup tiny black Nicoise olives
1/4 cup drained capers 4 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
1/2 cup chopped Italian parsley 8 anchovy fillets, coarsely chopped
2 teaspoons salt  

Chances are, if you use the anchovies, you won't want to use the salt. Cook the pasta until tender but still firm. Drain immediately after cooking. While the pasta is cooking, drain the tomatoes, cut them in half and squeeze out as much juice as you can. Put the tomatoes in a skillet with the olive oil and bring to a boil. Keep the sauce at a rolling boil and add the remaining ingredients-except pasta- one at a time, stirring constantly. Reduce heat and cook until sauce is thickened to your liking. Makes 4 servings.

Chicken Marbella(good at any temperature and best as a leftover)

4 chickens, 2 1/2 pounds each, quartered 1 head of garlic, peeled and pureed
1/4 cup dried oregano salt and black pepper to taste
1/2 cup red wine vinegar 1/2 cup olive oil
1 cup pitted prunes 1/2 cup pitted Spanish green olives
1/2 cup capers with a bit of juice 6 bay leaves
1 cup brown sugar 1 cup white wine
1/4 cup Italian parsley, finely chopped  

In a large bowl combine chicken, garlic, oregano, pepper, salt, vinegar, olive oil, prunes, olives, capers with juice, and bay leaves. Cover and let marinate, refrigerated, overnight. Preheat oven to 350. Place chicken in single layer in one or two large, shallow baking pans and spoon marinade over it. Sprinkle chicken with brown sugar and pour wine around it. Bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour, basting frequently with pan juice. The chicken is done when you poke it with a fork and clear yellow-not pink-juice comes out. Serve over rice with the prunes, olives and capers. Keep the pan juices around to pour over the chicken. Makes 10 or more servings. Its that good, make it for a party and just wallow in the compliments.

Skewered Shrimp and Prosciutto(Prosciutto is expensive and tastes it)

9 thin slices of prosciutto 3 dozen medium shrimp, shelled and deveined
2 dozen pitted California black olives 18 thin lemon slices(2 or 3 lemons)
1/2 cup finely chopped Italian parsley 2 or 3 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
crushed dried red pepper to taste 6 or more tablespoons best-quality olive oil

Preheat oven to 350. Cut each slice of prosciutto in half the long way and wrap 1 piece around each shrimp. Each skewer should be: Olive, olive, prosciutto wraped shrimp, plain shrimp wraped in lemon slice, prosciutto wraped, lemon wraped, prosciutto wrapped, lemon wraped, olive, olive. Lay each skewer on a piece of foil. Sprinkle with garlic, parsley, and red pepper flakes. Dribble a teaspoon or so oil on each skewer and seal the packets. Place on baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes or until shrimp are dome. Makes 6 skewers.