Sarah

In the Kitchen: Spaghetti alla Puttanesca

Sarah
In the Kitchen: Spaghetti alla Puttanesca
It's not an Italian kitchen unless there's a wooden spoon around!

It's not an Italian kitchen unless there's a wooden spoon around!

Spaghetti alla Puttanesca has quite a few rumors surrounding how it came to be. Legend has it that the famous sauce, which hails from Ischia, Naples, originated late one night when a restaurant owner was about to close and didn't have a lot of ingredients left to work with. He decided to improvise by combining some staple ingredients (olives, anchovies, and capers) and created a sauce that would gain a sweeping popularity. While many Italian restaurants across America offer this dish, it is a simple sauce to make at home and requires ingredients that you most likely already have in your pantry. Allora, let's get cooking!

 

  • Ingredients: 
  • 2 Cans of crushed or diced tomatoes (I used crushed for a heavier consistency)
  • 1 yellow onion
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Salt & Black Pepper
  • 2-3 tablespoons of capers
  • Kalamata olives
  • Anchovies 
  • Italian Parsley 
  • 1 Box of dried pasta (spaghetti)

Instructions

In a large pot, pour in the extra virgin olive oil, enough to cover the base of the pot. Chop/dice the onion and let it sizzle in the hot oil. When the onion reaches a caramel/golden color, add in the diced garlic. I like to add in the garlic after the onion so that it doesn't burn. Once the onion and garlic have reached a golden color, add in the crushed tomatoes. Stir to incorporate the ingredients.

Next, add your chopped anchovies and capers to the sauce. I added about two palm-full's of capers. Cooking is all about tailoring recipes to your liking, so feel free to use less or add more! Slice the olives in halves or quarters and add to sauce. While stirring, add in a pinch of salt (as the anchovies and olives will already make the sauce a bit salty), black pepper, and some chopped parsley. Again, add as much parsley as your taste permits. If you like things a bit spicy, add in some hot pepper flakes like I did!

Let the sauce cook a little longer (about 10 minutes) on a low heat, stirring occasionally so that the sauce does not stick to the bottom of the pan. While your sauce continues to cook, fill another large pot with water and bring it to a boil. Don't forget to add salt! Once the water comes to a boil, add your spaghetti and let it cook for about 10-15 minutes, depending on if you like it al dente or not. Strain the pasta in a colander, and put it back in the pot. Stir in sauce and serve in a large bowl. Buon appetito!

The finished product! Garnish your plate with some parsley and extra olives for a beautiful presentation.

The finished product! Garnish your plate with some parsley and extra olives for a beautiful presentation.

I hope you all enjoy this dish as much as I do! Tag me in your creations on Instagram @thesweetpaisana. Happy cooking!

Tanti baci,

The Sweet Paisana