Cozy Weekday Suppers – Pasta Puttanesca
On cold, rainy days, I love injecting a burst of vibrancy with this cozy pasta alla puttanesca recipe. Historically, this dish (whore’s pasta) derived its name from the “ladies of the night” in Italy, as it’s “fast and easy” to make, and does not require fresh ingredients, so it can be quickly whipped up in the middle of the night (or early morning) when the girls finish their shifts.
From this somewhat colourful root, the recipe has blossomed into a classic amongst the great Italian pastas. I love the fiery, brimy saltiness of this dish, as the robust aromas of garlic, anchovy, olives and capers demand full sensory attention. This is also a great pantry classic, as it requires only storecupboard ingredients and no additional shopping. I like to protein my recipe up with an unconventional addition of flaked tuna.
I make this whenever I am at a shortage of time, or ingredients, or just plain want to be satisfied by a timeless classic.
What you’ll need (serves 2):
- a fistful of spaghetti
- 2 anchovy fillets
- 12 capers
- 10 olives
- 3 cloves of garlic (thinly sliced)
- 1 can of chopped tomatoes
- 1 can of flaked tuna
- a dash of chill flakes
- salt and pepper
- a handful of grated parmesan
Slice each clove of garlic into thin wafers. Chop capers and olives finely.
Bring a pot of water to a boil and cook the pasta according to package instructions.
In a pot over medium heat, saute the anchovy fillets and garlic together until the anchovies have dissolved and the garlic has turned slightly golden.
Add the diced capers and olives to the pot and cook for a minute. There might be some spattering, but stay calm and stir on.
Now add the can of chopped tomatoes. At this time, I like to add salt and pepper to taste. I also like to add a bit of sugar as the tomato can be quite acidic. If you like it hot, also add a sprinkle of dried chilli flakes. This is all based on personal preference so taste as you go along.
Once the tomato sauce has started to bubble, stir in the flaked tuna.
By now, your pasta should also be cooked to a perfect al dente.
Drain and pour the pasta into the sauce pot. Toss well so the luscious rouge sauce coats each strand of pasta.
Sprinkle with grated parmesan and enjoy!