PASTA ALLA PUTTANESCA
Pasta Alla Puttanesca (Whore’s Pasta or The Prostitute Pasta Sauce originated in the Naples region of Italy)
The Legend: Its name would appear to leave little room for doubt, but there are several different interpretations. This dish made with tomato, anchovies, capers, and black olives was a means of seduction, albeit initially with the stomach in mind.
It was a quick and easy pasta sauce for the puttanas to make in between customers, hence the name puttanesca sauce. I was also told that puttanesca sauce was named after the term “whore” because it had everything in it. Because Italians are so frugal, they would not throw away any food.
-1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
-4 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
[-3 anchovy fillets] Optional
-2 C – fresh Roma or cherry tomatoes cut into chunks
-1 C puréed tomatoes
-1/2 cup Kalamata olives, halved, pitted (buy already pitted; it’s easier)
-1 tablespoon drained capers
-1 teaspoon dried oregano
-1/2 C fresh basil or 1T pesto
-1 teaspoon chili peppers
-2 Tbsp chopped fresh Italian parsley (or 2 tsp dried)
-3/4 lb. spaghetti or other pasta like rotini
-Grated Parmesan cheese
Heat oil in large frying pan over medium heat (you’ll be adding the cooked pasta so needs high sides). Add garlic and sauté until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add anchovies and continue sautéing until they become creamy. Add the fresh chopped tomato pieces. Sauté for a few minutes and then add the canned puréed tomatoes, olives, capers, oregano, basil, parsley and crushed chili peppers. Simmer sauce over medium-low heat until thickened, about 8 minutes. No salt needed as anchovies are already quite salty. (Please turn over page…
Meanwhile, cook pasta in large pot of boiling salted water until tender but still firm to bite. Drain pasta; save 1/2 C of the cooking water. Add pasta into the pan with the sauce. Add reserved cooking water and continue cooking the pasta in the sauce for about 3 minutes stirring all together. Serve with cheese. Buon Appetito!