Are you looking for an extremely fragrant sauce? Try the pasta puttanesca recipe, which is bursting with flavor and easy to prepare. It will be unforgettable!
What is the origin of pasta alla puttanesca?
A traditional recipe from Central Italy, Lazio, and Campania, it has spread all over Italy. According to the legend, puttanesca, which means “relating to a sex worker,” was invented by sex workers who wanted to cook something fast for their clients. This pasta is as hot as its origin.
There are many tales about the origin of puttanesca. According to one, this recipe was invented by a Neapolitan architect who also ran a restaurant. When he had to cook something easy for some friends who had suddenly appeared, he seasoned a dish of spaghetti with a few simple ingredients that he had in his pantry.
What he wrote in his diary was, “…Many years ago, it was a late night, and a few friends showed up and sat at a table. They were very hungry, but I had run out of everything, so I told them I couldn’t prepare anything, I was so sorry, but they insisted.” One friend said, “Sandro, it is very late, we can’t go anywhere else; we are very hungry, so prepare any puttanata.” In Italian, this means garbage or something worthless and resembles the word, puttana or whore. What resulted from this very crude word was this infamous but delicious dish.
What is puttanesca sauce made of?
Puttanesca is made of simple ingredients that you might have in your pantry: good olive oil, olives, capers, chili peppers, and high-quality tomato sauce resulting in a burst of Mediterranean flavor.
Because the traditional recipes call for anchovies, they are in my recipe below. Since I am allergic to them, I don’t use them, but if you like fish, add some anchovy fillets. Your puttanesca will have even more flavor.
Which is the best olive for?
The slightly sweet taste of the plump black olives fit this recipe best. Pitted green olives may be used as well since they are much easier to find. Choose brine or salt-cured olives. Kalamata olives are a good choice.
- 1 lb pof pasta, preferably, spaghetti or linguine. Short pasta may fit as well. (454g)
- 1/2 cup of very ripe cherry tomatoes or a small can of peeled plum tomatoes (100g)
- 6-8 anchovy fillets (to taste)
- 1 clove of garlic
- a spring of fresh parsley (extra)
- a few fresh basil leaves (extra but highly recommended)
- 1 tsp of red pepper flakes
- 1/3 cup black pitted olives, such as Kalamata (50g)
- 1/4 cup of capers (30g)
- Parmigiano Reggiano (to taste)
- salt and pepper
- Fill 3/4 of a large stock pot with water and bring it to a rolling boil;
- Rinse the salt off the capers;
- To prepare the sauce, add some olive oil to a pan, sauté the finely sliced garlic (or crush it if you prefer a more delicate taste) with the red pepper flakes over medium high heat until light golden brown;
- Add the anchovy fillets and let them melt completely; skip this step if omitting anchovies;
- Add the tomatoes and cook until the sauce gets thicker;
- Season with salt and pepper and stir in the olives and the capers;
- Add some basil leaves;
- Reduce the heat to a low and simmer until the pasta is done;
- When the water boils, add a tablespoon of salt and cook the pasta according to the instructions on the package;
- Finely chop the parsley and add it to the sauce; reserve a little for plate decoration;
- Add a tip of a teaspoon of ground pepper and let it simmer;
- Drain the pasta in a colander and add it directly to the pan with the sauce;
- Toss with a wooden spoon until the pasta is evenly coated. If the sauce gets too thick, add a little pasta cooking liquid;
- Top the plates with the remaining parsley and a little freshly grated Parmigiano to taste; enjoy your lunch!