There are many explanations that describe the origin of this dish. Puttanesca (literally means whore’s style spaghetti) is believed to have originated in the Campania region of Italy. In 2007, when we visited the ruins of Pompeii in Naples, our tour guide Marco from Perillo Tours explained to us the story behind the name of this dish. According to him, the ladies of the evening made it to lure the men into their house by attracting them with the aroma of the sauce. Other sources claim the ladies made it because it was easy and quick as they were always busy and had little time for cooking. Whatever the story, Puttanesca is a delicious and lively sauce that you can whip in no time. It’s best served over spaghetti. It is tasty but on the salty side.
- 28 oz. peeled tomatoes, chopped or crushed
- 1 cup meatless tomato sauce
- 6 oz. Kalamata olives, pitted and chopped
- 1/3 cup capers, drained
- 2 can of whole anchovies in oil
- 2 tbsp. olive oil
- 4 garlic cloves, chopped
- Red pepper flakes, optional
- 1 lb. of spaghetti
Preparation:1) Bring pasta water to a boil, add salt, and cook according to package directions. I like mine al dente (to the bite)
2) In the meanwhile, over medium heat, in medium-size saucepan, heat up olive oil, sautee the garlic for 1 minute, add olives, capers, anchovies, continue cooking for about 5-7 minutes. Stir occasionally. Add the crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce and pepper flakes. Bring to a quick boil, simmer on low for 15-20 minutes. Serve it over spaghetti.Cook’s note: If pasta is done before the sauce, just drain it well and drizzle some olive oil on it to prevent clumping.If you love all these ingredients, you will savor this delicious meal. I recently made it with cod fish over polenta, and it came out scrumptious. Check out my blogpost: Baccala Mantecato to learn how to desalt the cod fish.
Wine Pairing Suggestions: Ideally, I recommend the red Lacryma Christi from the slopes of Mount Vesuvius in Campania, Italy. However, it can be challenging finding this varietal. My next suggestions would be a Primitivo from the Puglia region or a Nero N’Avola from Sicily. Whatever your choice, with or without wine, you will enjoy this punchy pasta (if you like all the ingredients). Buon Appetito!
Warning: This dish has a high sodium content
Disclosure: I did not get compensated for the products that I used
Recipe developed by: Gina Martino Zarcadoolas for Foodiewinelover
Photos by Gina Martino Zarcadoolas for Foodiewinelover
Happy Cooking from my Kitchen to yours,
Gina Martino Zarcadoolas, aka Foodiewinelover
My Food, Wine & Travel Lifestyles
WSET-Level 2 Wine Connoisseur
Culinary and Global Cuisines Aficionado