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Pasta alla Puttanesca

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This scandalously named pasta (also known by its English name – Tart’s Spaghetti), Italy’s version of ‘fast food’, is perfect to whip up when you’re short on time, whether in-between runs for a quick lunch or after skiing and keen to get out for the night’s festivities. It requires nothing more than everyday items usually found in most cupboards (if these items are not in your cupboard, trust me, you will want to start keeping them on hand!). Savoury and satisfying, be prepared – this gutsy pasta packs a punch! Enjoy.

Italy’s version of ‘fast food’, is perfect to whip up when you’re short on time

Text: Eileen Smith

Serves 4

500g spaghetti, spaghettini or linguine
5 tbsp olive oil
5 cloves garlic, finely chopped
800g canned diced tomatoes (Italian please!)
1 tsp red chilli flakes (less if you don’t want it too hot)
3 tbsp capers, drained
125g pitted black olives (preferably Kalamata)
30-40g tin of anchovy fillets, drained and finely chopped or 3 tsp of anchovy paste
4 tbsp fresh basil, roughly chopped
4 tbsp fresh parsley, finely chopped
Salt and pepper to taste

Bring a large pot of salted water (it should taste like the sea) to a boil and cook pasta according to the time given on the package. Remembering, pasta should be al dente! While the pasta is cooking, in a large frying pan, heat olive oil on medium heat and sauté garlic, anchovies and red chilli flakes until fragrant and lightly golden, about 3 minutes. Add the tomatoes, capers and olives and give it a good stir. Allow to simmer until your pasta is cooked and drained (be sure to reserve some of the pasta water in a cup). Toss the pasta into the sauce and add some of the reserved pasta water if it’s not saucy enough for you. Heat the pasta and sauce together then add the basil and parsley. Toss again and taste. Season with salt and pepper if necessary and serve at once. Garnish with some freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, if you have some on hand. Tuck in, it’s a keeper!

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