Pasta Puttanesca is loosely translated to “street walker’s pasta.” There are a lot of stories about how this name came about. The most popular is that the ladies of the evening in Naples used to make Pasta alla Puttanesca and put it out on the windowsill so that the aroma of the sauce would attract prospective clients. Kind of a silly story, but people seem to like it.
Now, lets talk about anchovies. I know there are probably a lot of people out there who think they don’t like anchovies, and may be tempted to make this excluding them. You certainly can do that if you want, but I am going to ask you nicely not to. Please try it at least once with the anchovies. Chopped up they practically dissolve into the oil when sautéing them, so you don’t have to worry about biting directly into or tasting anchovy. What you will taste, however, is a depth of flavor that will be missing if they are left out. Trust me.
- 2 tablespoonsextra-virgin olive oil
- 1 clove garlic, chopped
- 6 anchovy fillets, chopped
- pinch of crushed red pepper
- 1 35 oz can imported italian plum tomatoes, crushed with their juices
- 1 tablespoon capers
- 12 gaetta olives, pitted
- 1/2 teaspoon oregano
- 1 pound spaghetti or linguine
- Heat olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium high heat. Add garlic, anchovy, and red pepper cook until garlic is lightly browned.
- Crush tomatoes and add with juices. Fill the empty tomato can 1/4 of the way with water and pour into the pan. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally, then reduce to a simmer.
- Add capers, olives, and oregano. Cook at a simmer for 20 minutes, until sauce thickens.
- While the sauce is cooking bring a pot of generously salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook uncovered over high heat until al dente.
- Drain pasta, toss with sauce and serve.