This week I’d like to get back to recipes. One of my favorites, because it’s delicious and easy to make, is spaghetti alla puttanesca. Spaghetti is the traditional pasta used, although other types could be substituted if desired. Puttanesca sauce is traditionally a red sauce with olives, capers and anchovies so it has a salty, briny flavor. It is a relatively new addition to the Italian recipe armamentarium, as it only appeared around the 1950’s in popular cooking lore. It’s unclear where it originated from, although, the sauce’s invention is claimed by a famous cook from the island of Ischia, in the bay of Naples. As with most recipes, there are different variants of puttanesca depending on what region you are in. Wouldn’t it be fun to go to Italy and try a few, so as to compare? (Wink, wink!)
Today I would like to share with you my version of the puttanesca sauce that my mom taught me to make many years ago.
Here’s what you’ll need…
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 large clove garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon anchovy paste (I prefer this over actual anchovies)
- 28 ounce can or bottle of tomato puree (passata)
- 3 tablespoons cured capers (they come in little bottles, in their own brine)
- ½ can of pitted, black olives, coarsely cut
- salt, to taste
In a saucepan heat olive oil and sautèe garlic until lightly golden. Add anchovy paste, stir and let melt. Add tomatoes and stir. Then add capers and olives and stir. Add salt. Let sauce simmer on low heat for about 20 minutes then pour over cooked spaghetti. This recipe is enough to serve about 4 - 5 people.
It’s quick, it’s easy, it’s delicious…I hope you enjoy it as much as I do. Buon appetito!