Spaghetti alla Puttanesca


OMG So yummy.

This is probably, officially, one of my most favourite and super simple pasta sauces to make, ever. It’s kind of funny, because I’ve been making something similar to this for a few years now, but just with garlic, hot chili flakes & olive oil. This version, is just an amped up variation that totally blows it out of the water and I am super duper obsessed with it.

The name spaghetti alla puttanesca roughly translates to "whore’s style spaghetti". The recipe is super fast and super simple. Admittedly it’s all canned or preserved stuff, but it’s just so incredibly addictive. I ate a huge bowlful last night (well, huge for me) for dindin and I desperately wanted seconds, but was too full to even try… but I wanted seconds, damnit! I kept obsessing about it all night long, hoping I would get hungry enough to have a bowl for my late night snack, but it never panned out. So I’ve had my second round for breakfast this morning.

Recipe is so fast it can be put together in less time than it takes to set water on to boil and cook the pasta. If you like salty, spicy and assertive flavours, this is the recipe for you. All the ingredients are pantry staples, so this is also a great recipe for days where you want something fast, easy, satisfying and NOT just a bowl of pasta doused with a jar of store-bought spaghetti sauce. (Of which, I should mention, we never actually have jars of premade sauce in our pantry, only cans of whole tomatoes. Jarred sauce is a rarity around our house.) No measurements, since I just eyeballed this, though if you want an official recipe to follow, check out Mario Batali’s Penne alla Puttanesca. This is the recipe from his cooking app that I got super excited from. Another version to try which I also kept in the back of my head, and who’s name amuses me greatly, is Nigella’s Slut Spaghetti. Maybe I should call mine Seriously Slutty Spaghetti? ;D

Spaghetti alla Puttanesca

1 can whole tomatoes
olive oil
minced garlic, lots (like a heaped spoonful)
anchovies, chopped
capers, drained
black olives, pitted
hot chilli flakes

Bring a pot of water to boil and cook your spaghetti to your desired texture
In a large skillet, big enough to accommodate adding in the spaghetti, warm the olive oil over medium heat.
Add chopped anchovies, capers, garlic, black olives and hot chilli flakes.
Turn down the heat and stir everything together, mashing the anchovies a bit.
You might want to consider using your splatter guard here, everything spits if your heat is too high!
Carefully pour in the juice from the tomatoes to the pan and squeeze the life out of each tomato with your hand before adding to the sauce.
Yes, I said use your hands. It might take a bit to break up each tomato sufficiently, take your time and watch out you don’t squirt juice all over yourself like I did. It can be messy.
After all the tomatoes have been added to the pan, stir everything together and let simmer while your noodles continue to cook.
Taste for seasoning, though the likelihood of needing to add salt is probably nil.
If anything, you may want to consider adding a bit of the oil from the anchovies if you’re like me and you want more flavour.
Drain the spaghetti, saving some of the cooking water to loosen the sauce, if needed.
Add spaghetti to the sauce and mix well so the noodles absorb all the liquid in the pan and suck up all the wonderfulness.
Serve in large bowls, making sure there’s some goodies (capers, olives and tomatoes) in each, and be happy.
You can serve this with parmesan, but to be honest, I think it’s totally perfect as is and cheese might actually be kind of weird, texturally.


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