spaghetti alla puttanesca
- 1 pound (500 g) dried spaghetti, preferably imported italian
- 4 tbs. extra virgin olive oil, additional for drizzling
- 2 – 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 4 anchovy fillets, chopped
- 2 tbs. capers, rinsed and drained
- 3/4 cup (100 g) black olives, pitted and halved
- 1 1/2 lb (700 g) fresh ripe tomatoes; or 1 1/2 (700g) canned imported tomatoes, coarsely chopped
- a handful of finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
- freshly grated parmigiano reggiano, to taste and optional–in italy, parmigiano reggiano is not used in the recipe
in a saucepan over medium heat, add olive oil and sauté the garlic for about 2 minutes.
add anchovies, and mash them well with the garlic.
add capers and olives, and stir with anchovies and garlic.
add the tomatoes, salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste, reduce to a simmer and continue to cook for about 20 minutes.
meanwhile, cook the spaghetti in salted, boiling water until al dente, drain and add cooked spaghetti to the pan with the sauce, adding 2 tbsp. of the pasta cooking water.
toss the pasta with the sauce and heat gently for a couple of minutes.
drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil.
sprinkle with parsley and serve.
returning home, famished at a late hour last week after an exhausting but much fun art basel night, i went in my kitchen, and ate a chunk of parmigiano reggiano cheese. i suddenly craved pasta; a recipe that the chef and author, Giuliano Bugialli, had taught me came to mind. in the style of the whore, spaghetti alla puttanesca in italian, is the recipe, and Giuliano Bugialli so endearingly shared the story behind the name of this sauce. this is an intense flavoured sauce from the regions of campania and lazio in italy, where anchovies, capers, garlic, olives, and tomatoes are abundant. these regions offer variables of this recipe, and some recipes exclude or include peperoncino and even tomatoes, but parmigiano reggiano is not an ingredient. on this creative evening, or rather early morning, as i was eating this luvFAB cheese, dinking a glass of brunello di montalcino, and feeling inspired from the creativity of the overwhelming art i had seen in the past 10 hours, i added a grattuggiata; a grating of cheese to the recipe. not sure if i found my spaghetti alla puttanesca at that early hour of the morning, just yummy due to the cheese addition, but i can say it certainly is a reason to maintain staples in your pantry. Giuliano Bugialli gives sandro petti the credit for inventing in the 1950’s, in his restaurant “rancio fellone” in ischia, italy, this puttanesca sauce. sandro petti had a then trendy venue, and when his friends arrived at the restaurant, just when the chef had left for the evening, they insisted that they would be happy eating any bull****, “una puttanata qualsiasi”. they were famished. so sandro, with what ingredients he could find in the pantry, made this sauce, and served it over a plate of pasta. a hit so enjoyed, he put it on the menu with the name “puttanesca” from the “puttanata” of a bite requested by his friends that evening. this puttanesca sauce can be quickly prepared at any time to satisfy most appetites; it’s quite a “high end call sauce” for thebestdressup now!