In Italian, a puttana is a "lady of the night." It is said that it's quick preparation made it popular as a fast snack between
clients. Today, this pasta dish is found throughout Italy, although it is particularly popular in Rome.
Photo from the Food Network.
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Spaghetti alla Puttanesca
Yields: 4 to 6 servings
Prep time: 30 min
Cook time: 30 min
extra-virgin olive oil
1 green bell pepper, cored, seeded and chopped
1 (28-ounce) can crushed or diced
1 (2-ounce) can
anchovy fillets, drained and chopped*
16 green or black olives, sliced
capers, rinsed and drained
1/4 cup chopped fresh
basil leaves or 2 teaspoons dried basil
1/4 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes
salt and freshly-ground
black pepper to taste
1 (16-ounce) package spaghetti
* Use only good-quality Spanish or Portuguese anchovies. Anchovy paste may be substituted (approximately two
inches squeezed from the tube will provide the equivalent taste of one anchovy fillet). More anchovy fillets may be added according to your personal taste.
To purchase Anchovies and Anchovy Paste, check out What's Cooking America's Kitchen Store.
In a large frying pan over medium-high heat, heat the olive oil until hot. Add the onion and green pepper; sauté for 3 to 5 minutes or until soft.
Add garlic and sauté another 30 seconds. Add the tomatoes and anchovies; simmer an additional 10 minutes. Stir in olives, capers, basil, red pepper flakes, pepper, and
salt; simmer for an additional 20 minutes.
While the sauce is cooking, prepare the pasta according to package directions; drain and return to pan to keep warm.
Learn How To Cook Pasta Properly.
Pour the sauce over the cooked pasta, tossing to coat. Transfer
into individual serving bowls.
Makes 4 to 6 servings.