This classic southern Italian dish is made with ‘sugo alla puttanesca’ which is sauce traditionally made from diced tomatoes, anchovies, olives, garlic, chili peppers, and capers. However, there are different variations of this sauce as the recipe bellow omits the capers and uses green olives as a substitute. The sauce has a bit of heat, as well as it’s salty from the olives and anchovies, tangy from the lemon juice, and deliciously flavoured from the garlic. It’s a perfect recipe for spicing up a normal tomato sauce.
This sauce has an interesting story surrounding it, which actually makes it a comical Valentines day meal… It has been said that prostitutes in Naples would make this delicious sauce to lure in prospective clients, which is where the name ‘puttanesca’ is derived from. Despite the story behind this sauce, it’s perfect for any occasion.
This pasta dish is by far one of my favourites, because it’s just so incredibly flavourful, and it was my brother who first introduced me to this dish. My brother has become quite the little chef these days, as I frequently find him in the kitchen trying out new recipes. He has been dying to try this sauce, and boy am I glad that he did. The different tastes of the ingredients are balanced perfectly to bring out great taste. It’s a spicy, cheap and easy sauce that is a definite pleaser.
Spaghetti alla Puttanesca
- 28 oz can diced tomatoes (preferably skinless)
- 1 pound spaghetti (can use spaghetti of choice)
- 2 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes
- Juice from half a lemon
- 2 teaspoons parsley
- 1/4 cup white wine
- 5 cloves of garlic, coarsely chopped.
- 1 cup sliced black and green olives
- 2 teaspoons anchovy paste (I used a tomato based paste called Umami paste)
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- Pinch of cayenne pepper (optional)