Puttanesca 

1 Oct


Puttanesca is one of my favourite easy suppers. It’s usually made with spaghetti, but I always find that a bit slimy so use linguini, or fusilli to really mop up all the sauce. 

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. 

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