The name comes from the Italian for prostitute, puttana, and basically means whore’s pasta. There’re lots of arguments about why, but rather than a load of working girls knocking something up for clients (do you pay extra for dinner?) I see it in more of a Godfrey Bloom sense: you’ve been far too sluttish to do any shopping, never mind clean behind the fridge, and this is the ultimate bare-cupboard recipe.
Serves four or two carb lovers
- Pasta, obvs, of your choice
- Half a white onion, finely chopped
- Two cloves of garlic, finely chopped
- Two anchovies, chopped up
- A tin of chopped tomatoes or around 300ml of passata
- Tablespoon of tomato purée if you have it
- 1 to 2 teaspoons of dried chilli flakes depending on how much heat you want
- A small handful of black olives, halved
Chuck a spoonful of capers in if you like them, and if you have any dried basil or oregano a sprinkling of those.
For anchovy haters like me PLEASE don’t miss these out. You absolutely won’t taste them but they add a perfect bit of salt and non-fish flavour.
Gently heat a glug of good olive oil in a large pan and add the anchovies for a minute then sweat off the onions and garlic until the former have gone slightly translucent.
Throw in the chilli and give it a good stir before throwing everything else into the pan. Let it simmer while your pasta cooks and then stir through with a tiny bit of the starchy pasta water – it helps the sauce stick. Top with LOADS of Parmesan and some torn basil if you’ve got some handy.
Eat with a bucket of red wine and a hot date, just make sure they leave a tip on the nightstand.