Spaghetti Puttanesca

Spaghetti Puttanesca

(serves 6)

Spaghetti alla Puttanesca is a delicious dish with an interesting story. The puttanesca is a simple sauce made with olives, capers, garlic and tomatoes. It supposedly originated in Naples in the brothels of the Spanish quarters, where the “ladies of the night” would try to entice their clients with the aromas of this dish. You have to love some of the history behind some of these Italian dishes. Of course Italians, no matter what their profession used food as their love language. 


1/2 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil

8 Garlic cloves, Whole

4 Anchovy Filets, Chopped Finely  

1/4 tsp. Red Pepper Flakes 

4 tbsp. Non-pariel Capers, Rinsed Well & Drained

10 Basil Leaves, Chopped 

2 28oz. Cans Whole Peeled Tomatoes, Crushed By Hand

2 cups Gaeta or Kalamata Olives, Pitted and Roughly Chopped

1/2 tsp. Salt 

1 tsp. Black Pepper

1 1/2 lbs. Spaghetti 


Boil the pasta water and add salt. 

In a frying pan, heat the olive oil on a low flame. Add the garlic and the red pepper flakes and sauté until the garlic cooks through. Make sure it’s a very low flame, as you almost want the garlic and the red pepper flakes to infuse the olive oil. Once the garlic is cooked, remove from the pan and smash with a fork. Meanwhile, add the anchovy, cook for about five minutes until they almost begin to disappear into the oil. Add the capers, and sauté for another minute. Put the garlic back in the pan.  Then add the tomatoes and season with salt and pepper. Cook the sauce for about 5 minutes then add the olives and fresh basil. Cook for 10 minutes. Boil your pasta. Once it is drained add the pasta to the sauce and combine well. Top with some freshly grated cheese and serve.

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