Literally translated this old Italian dish would be Prostitute Pasta. So we’ll stick with the Italian spelling of our Spaghetti alla Puttanesca, which rolls so much nicer off the tongue!
Regardless of how you pronounce it, this deliciously tangy sauce consists of olives, garlic, capers, hot pepper and anchovies (although in the Neapolitan version anchovies are omitted).
Don’t be scared of anchovies – they add a wonderful salty and rich flavor. Once they are finely chopped then mashed up beyond all recognition, you won’t even know they’re in there! For the tomatoes, use whole tomatoes and crush them up with your hands. This may seem like extra work – when you could just buy diced tomatoes, but the texture of hand-crushed tomatoes is so much better. Just be sure to remove the little bits of core.
Add the cooked pasta to the skillet and toss gently with the sauce.
Spaghetti alla Puttanesca
- GF spaghetti
- 3 Tbsp olive oil divided
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 3 oil-packed anchovy fillets finely chopped (1 Tbsp)
- ¼ tsp dried red pepper flakes
- 28 oz whole tomatoes crushed by hand (this gives a better texture than using crushed tomatoes)
- ½ cup Kalamata olives coarsely chopped
- 2 Tbsp capers rinsed
- 1 tsp dried oregano or marjoram
- Pepper to taste
- Boil pasta in salted water until done to your likeness. Reserve ½ cup of the pasta water if needed, then drain and set aside.
- In a large skillet heat 2 Tbsp oil over medium heat then add garlic, stirring until golden. Add anchovies, and pepper flakes, stirring for another minute.
- Add tomatoes and bring mixture to a boil. Once boiling, reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes until sauce has thickened. Add the remaining ingredients as well as 1 Tbsp of oil. If sauce is too thick, add a bit of reserved pasta water.
- Add cooked pasta and toss well.