According to gossip passed from generation to generation, pasta alla puttanesca was named after the ladies of the nights of Naples. Puttana means whore in Italian and there are 2 popular tales why this dish was called such.
1 – This was cooked in a certain brothel so the men in the area would be enticed by the aroma and choose to go to that brothel instead of the other brothels. Uhhh… The way to a man’s heart pants is through his stomach kind of tactic?
2 – The classic ingredients– spaghetti, capers, garlic, olives, olive oil, tomatoes– are staples in an Italian kitchen so it’s very quick and easy to make. Get it? Quick and easy! Wham-bam!!!
ANYWAY, this is how I make the classic pasta favorite. This serves 2-3 not so hungry people.
Cook 200 grams of pasta until al dente. I like the brand Barronia because it’s not easy to overcook even when I forget it for a bit because I’m taking pictures of the cooking process. (Thanks to Ate B for the tip.) Spaghetti is usually used, but the sauce is great for almost all types of pasta. My pasta of choice is angel hair.
On a hot pan, put 3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil and sauté lots of minced garlic and white onions. You can do without the onion, but I suggest you keep it because it adds sweetness to the dish. :p When the garlic is close to golden brown, add 6 anchovy fillets, a tablespoon of capers, and a cup of chopped tomatoes. Crush and stir using a wooden spoon. Add a dash of chili flakes or a tablespoon of hot sauce depending on your preference. I prefer the former but I didn’t have some when I cooked this so I used Caramba Chili Rojo instead. Add around a dozen black olives, chopped. Then add cooked pasta. Drizzle some of the anchovy oil and add a dash of dried oregano and chopped fresh basil. Authentic recipe calls for parsley, but I didn’t have parsley and I like basil better. Stir well to make sure the pasta is coated evenly. Remove from stove and plate the puttanesca.
Sprinkle some grated parmesan and put a couple of decorative leaves so it will look great on Instagram. Hehehe!
This is also good with some grilled crusty bread rubbed with fresh garlic and drizzled with olive oil.
Buon appetito! :D
// listening to The Miracles – Shop Around