Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Requests {Spaghetti Puttanesca}

The reason I started my blog was to be able to share my recipes with my family and friends in an easy, relaxed way that we could all enjoy. Of course I also started it because cooking and creating my own recipes is my absolute passion. The other week I was looking back over a few of my first posts when the only people reading them was in fact my family and friends, and I saw that I had a couple of requests for recipes which I had never followed up with. I felt bad that I have never published the recipes since that was the whole point of my blog, so here they are – a little late but better late than not at all. If I have ever cooked for you and there is a particular recipe you would like to see appear here please let me know – there is a good chance I have just forgotten but I would love to share it with you if you are still interested!

First up for the requests is my Spaghetti Puttanesca – Abby this one is for you! I hope you still enjoy it!

Spaghetti Puttanesca {with Extra Attitude}

Prostitute, whore, lady of the night and most recently slut's....No I'm not shouting profanities, these are all names that I've heard this pasta dish be called! Spaghetti Puttanesca is a classic Italian pasta dish full of gutsy, full-bodied flavours (hence the name – so one theory goes) using ingredients that you are likely to have in your pantry and fridge. The 'Extra Attitude' in my version is quite simply just some extra chilli to give it a final punch at the end – this really is gutsy pasta with plenty of attitude and flavour! It's a quick and easy meal – ideal for a mid-week pasta dish or my favourite, on a Friday night to be enjoyed on the couch with a glass of red wine!

2 tbsp olive oil
2-3 cloves of garlic, crushed
2 fresh chillies, finely chopped or a good pinch of chilli flakes
1 tsp dried oregano, finely chopped
6 anchovies fillets, packed in oil
2 x 400ml tinned tomatoes
1 tsp sugar
2 tbsp capers, rinsed
100g black olives, pitted and roughly sliced
Salt and pepper
Small handful of fresh parsley, finely chopped
Small handful of fresh basil, chopped (optional)
400 - 500g spaghetti
Extra virgin olive oil
Parmesan cheese, finely grated to serve

In a large frying pan heat the oil and gently sauté the garlic for 1 minute before adding the chill, oregano and anchovies. Cook for a few minutes then add the tomatoes, sugar and some black pepper. Simmer gently for 30 minutes, stirring every now and then.

Cook the spaghetti in boiling, salted water according to packet instructions. When the pasta has only 5 minutes left, add the olives and capers to the sauce and check whether you need to add any salt. Drain the spaghetti reserving a couple of tablespoons of the cooking water. Add the water and pasta to the sauce and stir well. Sprinkle on the parsley and basil and serve with some freshly grated parmesan, then put your feet up and relax!

*The great thing about this dish is that you can chop and change the quantities as you like. In other words – if you're a lover of anchovies add more.....not so keen on capers, add less! You get my drift – up the anti to whatever you like and enjoy it even more!


  1. I'm glad Abby asked for this one - it looks fantastic!!!

  2. Haha, thanks! It really is so good - my problem is I don't make it that often as my husband doesn't like chopped tomatoes, capers or olives!!! Needless to say this is another dish that I save for when he's away!

  3. I have never made a puttanesca sauce before. It always looks so good, but my family won't eat it. Someday they are just going to have to suck it up!

  4. I totally understand Erin! As I said above I generally save this one for when Im home alone....then I can selfishly enjoy it by myself with no moaning or complaining! : )

  5. Oh I like it! Love the capers and olives in the sauce.

  6. Really lovely dish - I like the extra kick provided by the chilli!
    Funnily enough, I was back in Scotland last week and I saw this on the menu but they had literally translated it as "whore's sauce" and thought there is a lot to be said by a name - sounds a lot nicer in Italian as Puttanesca, don't you think?

  7. Thanks Ladies!
    Im with you on the name MeLikey! With all the different versions I've heard, the original Italian name is by far the nicest....I would love to learn Italian - it's such a beautiful language : )

  8. Given the origin of the name, please don't misunderstand me when I say: That's a great looking puttanesca! The addition of generous amounts of chilli makes it even better.

  9. I feel like pasta is more of a winter meal than summer but I have had some major cravings lately. This looks delicious and not too heavy!

  10. MMM! I looove this dish! Looks fantastic... I haven't had puttanesca in a long time. You've inspired me!

  11. I love Puttanesca Sauce. The origin of whore sauce is not certain. The version of the tale I have heard was the ingredients make the sauce taste like it had been cooked slowly for many hours being stirred regularly by the faithful house wife whereas it can actually be cooked quite quickly and the housewife can use her time for other "pursuits"

  12. Thanks everyone! I hope you enjoy it if you give it a go : )

    Emily - it is full of strong flavours but surprisingly its not too heavy. I know what you mean though, Im just a pastaoholic so eat it all the time!!

    Mike - another great theory as to the name - I love it! I'll guess we'll just never really know the true origin! Regardless it is a fantastic sauce and great name!


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