As everyone probably knows, this pasta has a colorful history. Its name was derived from the Italian word “puttana” which means lady of the evening. One folklore has it that fishermen in the southern coastal towns of Italy traded their freshly-caught anchovies for the pleasure of a woman’s company when they couldn’t afford to pay the money up front. With all those anchovies, members of the world’s oldest profession then found a way to make it into the zesty, piquant puttanesca sauce.
From reading, I found out that there are many variations of this pasta. Although some say it’s better slow-cooked, I prepare it when I want to come up with a quick,satisfying meal that’s a bit different from the usual carbonara and sweet-tasting spaghetti Filipinos often prefer.
Whether slow- or quick-cooked, what’s important is that the basic ingredients should remain:
1/2 cup olive oil
1 small can anchovy fillets
fresh, red, ripe tomatoes – blanched & seeded
1 small bottle capers
1 cup pitted black olives (preferably Kalamata)
2 tbsp. chopped parsley
2 tsp. dried or fresh basil leaves
red pepper flakes, if desired
salt to taste
pasta cooked al dente
1. Heat olive oil. Add garlic, taking care not to brown it.
2. Add anchovies, mashing lightly.
3.Mix in tomatoes, capers, olives, parsley & basil leaves, stirring gently.
4. Season with salt.
5. Mix with cooked pasta and top with parmesan cheese.