Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Spaghetti alla Puttanesca

According to the powers that be (ie: Wikipedia), spaghetti alla puttanesca is literally called "whore's spaghetti". Charming. I don't know why it's called whore's spaghetti, possibly because it's a little tangy and salty.

This pasta dish is pantry cooking at its finest. I always tend to have pasta and a tin of tomatoes in the pantry, a three-quarters-used jar of olives in the fridge and a lemon that's looking a bit worse for wear in the fruit bowl. This meal is very quick and easy to cook which makes it the perfect mid-week dinner.

But please note, you don't have to be an Italian whore to enjoy this!

Spaghetti alla Puttanesca
(Serves 4-6)

350g dried spaghetti
2 tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 tbsp capers
1 red chilli, finely chopped (take out the seeds if you don't like much heat)
1/4 cup olives, sliced (green, black, stuffed, pitted, whatever you have you can use!)
Pinch of ground cinnamon
Pinch of dried oregano
2 tins of chopped tomatoes
2 130g tins of "no drain" tuna (optional)
A small handful of fresh parsley or basil, roughly chopped (optional)
Lemon juice

Put the spaghetti in a large pot of boiling water and cook according to the packet instructions.

In a large pan (I use a heavy-based frying pan), heat the olive oil over a medium heat and add the garlic, capers and chilli. Fry for a minute to release all those aromas and flavours.

Then add the olives, cinnamon, oregano, tomatoes and (if using) the tuna. Cook for a couple of minutes until the sauce has thickened a little and then season it generously with salt and pepper.

When it's cooked, drain the spaghetti and add it to the sauce. Stir well, add the fresh parsley or basil and squeeze over a bit of lemon juice, then serve with a green salad, some fresh crusty bread and a glass of chilled white wine.


jaxstar84 said...

I think there are quite a few stories as to where this dish got its name but apparently one theory is that this was so easy to whip up, satisfying and could be made with ingredients that were stashed in the cupboard for ages - that even ladies entertaining gentleman callers could have something to eat in between clients lol

Lahsun's Food said...

Wow, yummy and deliciously amazing!

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