Recipes   /   Pasta alla Puttanesca

Pasta alla Puttanesca

Feb 2, 2016 by Gabriele Corcos

DIFFICULTY

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!

Serves: 4 / Prep time: 20 minutesCook time: 20 minutes

 

  • 1 pound ripe tomatoes or peeled tomatoes (if in a hurry)
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • 2 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 4 anchovy fillets
  • 2 ounces pitted and sliced black olives
  • 1 tablespoon salted capers, rinsed and chopped
  • Pinch crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 pound penne
  • 1 handful fresh parsley, leaved picked and chopped
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

1Bring a large pot of water to a boil.

2Submerge the tomatoes in boiling water for 1 minute. Using a slotted spoon, remove the tomatoes.

3Peel the tomatoes and cut them open. Discard the seeds and cut the flesh into small cubes.

4In a large nonstick pan heat about 3 tablespoons olive oil and saute together the garlic, anchovies, olives, capers, and red pepper flakes for about 3 to 4 minutes.

5Add the tomatoes and let cook on a medium-low heat for about 10 to 15 minutes.

6In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the penne about 2 minutes less than indicated on the box, drain and add to the sauce pan on a medium high flame, toss around for a couple of minutes or less, making sure the sauce is evenly distributed on the pasta.

7Add a sprinkle of finely chopped parsley and a drizzle extra-virgin olive oil.

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