Prostitution is claimed to be the oldest profession in the world. I am not sure how one can test or control that but I can understand it’s a job that does exist already for centuries. Also in Rome. Pasta Puttanesca is lousy translated as ‘Pasta in prostitute-style’ (or ‘hoerenpasta’ in Dutch), and they say it was often made in brothels by then, for the men who were waiting or just finished their visit. This pasta is quick, spicy, inexpensive and full of flavour. Also, you don’t really need fresh ingredients. That was also the reason why it was made by Rome that time, you didn’t have to visit the market as most of the ingredients in this pasta (or all) an Italian woman would have in her scullery. Always. They all can be tinned, but I prefer to use a combination of fresh and tinned products. Today I will share the recipe with you!
4 tablespoons olive oil
8-12 anchovies fillets
2-3 cloves of garlic, crushed or finely chopped
2-3 fresh red chilli peppers, finely chopped
100-150 gram drained black olives, pitted and roughly chopped
400 gram spaghetti (or penne, linguini)
800 gram tomato cubes, tinnes (from good quality – for example San Marzano or Pomodori)
3-4 table spoons capers
fresh parsley, hand full, only the leaves
lemon slices, to serve
Heat some olive oil in a frying pan and sauté the Spanish chilli pepper, anchovies and garlic in the oil. Let the little fish ‘melt’, sort of by crushing them with a wooden kitchen spoon. Add the tomatoes and bring to boil. Turn down the heat and let simmer for about 10-15 minutes. In the meanwhile cook the pasta in enough water with some salt. Drain and save an espresso cup of the water.
Add capers, parsley and olives in the sauce, add the clocked pasta and mix well with the sauce. If necessary you can add a little bit of the saved boiling water of the pasta, to bind the sauce. Season with enough black pepper. Serve direct, with a slice of lemon on the side.
*Tip: If you have some of this homemade tomato sauce in your freezer, like i always have, use that instead of the tinned tomatoes. It will add extra flavour and finesse to your dish!