Friday, August 15, 2014

Perfect pasta fix, pasta puttanesca

Every week I must have my fix of pasta, so last night when I got home I was in the mood for a pasta
Puttanesca. The history of pasta Puttanesca has many colorful Italian folk tales behind this salty tomato sauce. 
Some believe that it was a sauce created by a restaurant owner who had many guests come to his restaurant to eat late one night as he was about to close. He didn't have enough of any one ingredient to make a meal for them all so he took everything out of his kitchen and put it together to make this legendary Italian pasta sauce.

Another not so endearing tale is puttana in Italian means whore. It is said that it was a quick and easy pasta sauce for the puttanas to make in between customers, hence the name Puttanesca sauce.

It is also said 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. They would just make it into this amazing tomato sauce recipe.

And finally one theory is that decent married women would see the ladies of the evening walking on the streets and they would through sauce made of left overs onto them from the balconies of their homes screaming PUTTANA, PUTTANA!

Ultimately, pasta Puttanesca sauce includes the flavors of all my favorite ingredients combined such as anchovy, Olives, capers. Below is the recipe I used last night.


1. 1 lb of spaghetti rigate

2. 1 large box of Pomi crushed tomatoes

3. olive oil

4. 4oz Kalamata olives, pitted and sliced

5. ½ teaspoon of capers

6. I added a ½ teaspoon of anchovies because I love them. I hope you don't mind Rose.

7. 2 medium garlic cloves chopped

8. Salt and Pepper to taste

9. ½ cup freshly grated Pecorino cheese

10. ¼ cup chopped parsley


Begin by covering the sauté pan with olive oil. As any true Italian chef there is very little measuring done in this step. “Coat the pan” were my instructions and I understood them well.

Sauté the garlic in the olive oil on medium heat. Allow the garlic to infuse flavor into the oil. Don’t let it brown or it will become bitter. If you’re going to use anchovies add them after the garlic. The anchovies will dissolve and blend with the garlic and the hot oil.

Pour in the crushed tomatoes, then add the pitted Kalamata olives, the capers and allow to simmer on medium heat for about 10 minutes stirring occasionally. This will blend all those delicious flavors together.

Now is a good time to bring a large pot of water to a boil so you can cook your pasta al dente.
Serve Puttanesca pasta with pecorino cheese rather than Parmigiano. Pecorino is made from sheep’s milk and is a little saltier so it stands up to the Italian pasta sauce recipe whereas the Parmigiano will get lost in it.

Drain your pasta and add it directly to the pan or pot with your tomato sauce and mix together.

Once you’ve plated your masterpiece you can sprinkle some chopped Italian parsley, some pecorino and pour yourself a nice glass of wine,“The Chase 2012 from C.C. Jentsch Cellars would be perfect.  Now you’re ready to enjoy.

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