Fusilli Bucati alla Puttanesca
Just Google puttanesca and every recipe you will find will question the origin of the name of this delicious and simple pasta. Some say it was made to lure customers into brothels, others say that the ladies of the night would make it between customers as an easy pasta. This makes a certain amount of sense, the ingredients are all staples in a Neapolitan kitchen, all conserved foods that last a long time in your fridge or pantry. Easy and quick, much like the reputation that these women had (I know, I shouldn’t have gone there). This theory works for me, and it tickles me that a name like this stuck. La puttanesca is a pasta that I often make when I fail to go to the market, when there is nothing fresh in the house.
My husband and I often joke about “il mangiare dei cornuti”, or the dinner of a man who’s wife is cheating on him. Simple meals, that don’t take a whole lot of preparation, can be prepared ahead of time and food that you don’t necessarily have to go to the store to buy. He’s never said that this was a pasta dei cornuti, but after thinking about it, and its name, it may be the cover photo of the cookbook!
A note to my sister, who shudders when fish is mentioned and therefore refuses to eat it. You can’t taste the anchovies, they just add a wonderful saltiness and bring out the flavor in the olives and the capers. That goes for any of my other readers who skip over the fishy recipes. Anchovies are indeed delicious!
Fusilli alla Puttanesca
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled and left whole
- 3 oil-cured anchovies
- 1 can of san marzano tomatoes, it is also easy to find canned cherry tomatoes, which I love!
- 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 cup pitted cured black olives
- 1/4 cup capers, rinsed
- 1 lb farfalle pasta
Fill a large pot with water for the pasta. Bring to a boil over high heat.
Heat oil in a wide saucepan over medium-high heat and add the anchovies and the whole cloves of garlic. When garlic starts to sizzle and the anchovies start to dissolve, add the canned tomatoes and cook over a medium flame until the tomatoes start to break up. Add the olives and capers to the pan, lower the heat and cover, adding water if the tomatoes start to dry out.
Once the water starts to boil for the pasta add a small handful of salt to the water and bring to a rolling boil. Add the pasta and cook until al dente.
When the pasta is perfectly al dente, turn up the heat on the sauce and drain the pasta. Without shaking all of the water out of the colander pour the pasta into the pan and toss it with the sauce. This allows for the pasta to cook a little longer in the sauce and to absorb the flavor.
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