I do appreciate recipes with names, as they usually come with a story. I believe it helps hem stay alive, as they are “told” down to generations of home cooks. They stay relevant through decades of eating and not just devoured by a 15 seconds Instagram clip. Recipe titles can have historical or contextual meanings, they can refer to personal events or whoever’s grandma or drunk second cousin, they always come with a bit of a heritage, and carry their weigh in the kitchens of the world.
This recipe’s story is colorfully set in a Brothel, late at night. Clients in need of a pick-me-up-snack asked what the kitchen of the establishment had to offer. “Nothing more than a spice cabinet and a stove…” was the answer. It is not clear on who decided to actually open the cabinet and see if anything could be done, but at the end a few key ingredients ended up on the counter: cured olives, capers in salt, anchovies in oil, dry garlic and yes, a can of tomatoes… but if you were desperate some tomato paste or dried tomatoes would do the trick. The Puttanesca sauce was born!
Own this story, cook this sauce for your friends and have fun with it, this recipe is alive and very well!