I looked up the translation for the word puttanesca today. I think I’ve come across the term before. If my memory serves me right, it was Nigella that first brought the name to my attention, the little fridge-raiding minx. The translation is ‘whore’s spaghetti’. Ok. Not content with that, Nigella proceeded to name it ‘slut spaghetti’, as is befitting of her food-porn approach. See her here in all her double-entendre glory.
It would probably not be a recommended topic of conversation at the dinner table, say, if your in-laws were over for dinner and you didn’t know them too well.
“What’s for dinner, Laura?”
“Spaghetti alla Puttanesca, or to give it it’s correct name, whore’s spaghetti. Sounds good, eh, Julia? They do say you are what you eat!”
I had only ever tried puttanesca sauce from a jar. Lloyd Grossman, to be precise. Only if it was on special offer, mind you. But never again will I need to use the jarred stuff because I have made it myself and it tastes just as good, if not better than shop-bought. I found the recipe in the May issue of delicious magazine. The olives, capers and parmesan lend a sharp, salty taste to the dish. Tinned cherry tomatoes are a bit of a luxury but they do make a difference to the flavour. It was quick, it was easy and it was delicious. A really good dish for summer evenings, perfect to make after work because it’s so quick.
2 tbsp olive oil
1 red onion, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, finely sliced
400g tin of cherry tomatoes
4 tbsp small black olives such as nicoise or kalamata
4 tbsp medium capers
1 tsp dried oregano
Dried chilli flakes to taste
2 tbsp torn flatleaf parsley to garnish
Parmesan shavings to serve
1. Cook the spaghetti according to packet instructions until al dente.
2. Meanwhile, heat 1 tbsp of the oil in a medium pan, add the onion and cook gently for 5 minutes. Add the garlic, tomatoes, olives, capers and oregano and cook over a medium heat for 5 minutes, stirring often. Add salt, pepper and chilli flakes to taste.
3. Drain the pasta and then return it to the pan with 1 tbsp oil and mix gently until glossy.
4. Add the sauce to the pan, moving the pasta around to coat. Season to taste, then serve topped with torn parsley and parmesan shavings.
Recipe from delicious magazine May p.101