November 29, 2007
Puttanesca gets its name from the Italian ladies of the night, or the puttane. While the reason is unknown, it has been debated that it is a reference to the sauce's spicy flavor. Another possibility is that it is so quick and cheap to make. I certainly hope it offends no one to say so.
With it's strong flavors of olives, capers, garlic and anchovies, Puttanesca is not for the weak of palate. With minimal effort, the sauce can be ready to eat in 20 minutes.
1 lb. linguine or other pasta
1-2 Tbs. olive oil
4-5 cloves garlic, chopped
8 anchovy fillets, chopped or 1-2 Tbs. anchovy paste
1/8 tsp. red pepper flakes, or to taste
1/2 c. olives, sliced (I prefer Nicoise or Kalmatta)
1/4 c. capers, drained
1 tsp. oregano
1/2 c. parsley, chopped
2 lg. cans whole peeled tomatoes, drained
2 tsp. salt, or to taste
Bring a large pot of water to boil. Add salt, stir in linguine and cook until the pasta tender but still firm. Drain.
While linguine is cooking, heat the olive oil in a skillet and add the garlic and anchovies. Cook, stirring, until the anchovies have broken apart and the garlic is golden. Add the red pepper flakes, olives, capers, oregano, and parsley. Stir to combine. Crush the tomatoes slightly with your hands and add them to the pan. Add salt to taste.
Bring the sauce to a boil, stirring frequently. Reduce the heat slightly and continue to cook for a few minutes, or until the sauce has thickened to your liking. Serve over hot pasta.