Sunday, February 13, 2011

Pasta Puttanesca

Made this Italian classic (my favorite) last night for friends. I've tried different variations, and this is the best. I used to fear the anchovy, but don't fear it, it makes the meal.

Besides this being a classic meal, you can always tell the story of the name of this meal. Puttanesca refers to "puton" or "whore"- basically the ladies of the night are thought to have made this dish as it was easy and they had time later (or before?) to perform their tasks.

Just an aside- I do make all of my meals organic. I feel it makes a great meal.

This meal was taken from Jamie Oliver.

1 pound (455 grams) dried spaghetti, the best you can get- I actually prefer penne.
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped (You can go 3-4)
1 handful capers, soaked in water and drained
2 handfuls big black olives, pitted
12 anchovy fillets, roughly chopped
3 small dried red chiles, crumbled ( I used a little red pepper flakes instead.)
1 tablespoon dried oregano
Extra-virgin olive oil
2 (14 ounce/400gram) cans tomatoes, drained and chopped
1 good handful fresh basil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Cook the spaghetti in salted, boiling water until al dente. Meanwhile fry the garlic, capers, olives, anchovies, chiles, and oregano in a little olive oil for a few minutes. Add the tomatoes, bring to a simmer, and continue to cook for 4 or 5 minutes, until you have a lovely tomato sauce consistency. Remove from the heat, plunge the drained spaghetti into it, toss it over, and cover with the sauce. Rip all the basil over it, correct the seasoning, and drizzle with good extra-virgin olive oil.


  1. My husband LOVES pasta puttanesca - bit I always forget about making it (even though it's so easy) because of the anchovies. I know you the finished sauce doesn't taste fishy, but I hate anchovies so block recipes that use them out of my mind! So my husband will probably thank you for blogging this as it reminds me to make it for him.