Spaghetti alla puttanesca literally “spaghetti in the style of a prostitute” in Italian, is an Italian pasta dish invented in the mid-20th century. The ingredients typically include tomatoes, olive oil, anchovies, olives, capers and garlic. Thanks to my Birth-mom for sending me the Puttanesca recipe. America’s Test Kitchen helped with the pasta recipe.
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 large cloves garlic, very thinly sliced
4 oil-packed anchovy fillets, minced
1 small red onion, cut into small dice
1 tablespoon capers, soaked in warm
water for 5 minutes and drained
1/4 cup white wine
One 15-ounce can tomato sauce, preferably Italian San Marzano or organic
1/4 cup black olives (such as Kalamata), chopped
1 pound spaghetti, or other long dried pasta
1 pinch dried oregano
5 fresh basil leaves, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves, thinly sliced
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Freshly ground pepper
1. Fill large pot about 2/3 full with water, salt it liberally and bring to a boil over high heat.
2. Meanwhile, heat a wide, deep heavy skillet over medium heat. Pour in the olive oil until it is
shimmering and almost smoking. Add the garlic, anchovies, onions and capers and cook, stirring with a wooden spoon, until the onions are softened but not browned, about 4 minutes. Pour in the wine and bring to a simmer, then lower the heat and simmer until the wine has almost completely evaporated, about 5 minutes.
3. Stir in the tomato sauce and cook, stirring frequently, until slightly thickened, 12–15 minutes.
Stir in the olives and cook to warm them through, about 2 minutes.
4. Meanwhile, add the spaghetti to the boiling water and cook until al dente, about 8 minutes.
5. Stir the oregano, basil, parsley and extra virgin olive oil into the sauce. Season to taste with salt and pepper, bearing in mind that many of the ingredients are salty.
6. Use a heatproof liquid measuring cup to scoop out and reverse about 1 cup of the pasta cooking liquid, then drain the pasta. Add the pasta to the sauce and toss well, adding a little pasta water if necessary to help the sauce nicely coat the pasta.
7. Transfer the pasta to plates and serve.