Pasta alla Puttanesca

I’ve probably mentioned this before but I’ve never been a big fan of pasta.

It just was never that exciting.  UNLucky for me, I’m spending the next few months in the land of pasta.

But as the saying goes… When in Rome, do as the Romans do.

So I’m trying, and here’s my experiment.  Pasta alla Puttanesca, which I guess literally means “whore style pasta.” It’s not a Roman recipe originally, and I like to think I’m not a whore, but why not give it a shot.  While I’ve never been a big fan of pasta, I’ve always loved sauce (or “gravy” as they call it on The Sopranos) and more importantly I love olives.

I have no idea if this recipe is anywhere nearing authentic, but I read the basic ingredients of Pasta alla Puttanesca, took a quick trip to the grocery store and came up with this:

To be honest, it was delicious. And to be even more honest, I didn’t measure these things.  So these are estimates of how much I used.  If you give it a try, add stuff and keep tasting and adding more until you like the flavor.  After all, who cares about authenticity if it doesn’t taste good to you? (At least in your own home)

Puttanesca (ish) Sauce

1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, diced (apparently the original version doesn’t include onions)
2 gloves of garlic, minced
2 cups tomato puree
2 tbsp tomato paste
1 tbsp dried basil
1 cup sliced olives
3 tbsp capers
salt and pepper to taste
1 handful of fresh italian parsley, chopped

Heat oil in a large pot, add onions and cook until translucent.  Add garlic and cook an additional minute.  Add tomato puree, tomato paste, basil, olives, capers, salt and pepper and bring to a boil.  Simmer for 15 minutes, then stir in parsley.  Simmer for another 15 minutes or so, really the longer you simmer it the better.  If your sauce is too thick, add a bit of water.

Serve over pasta and enjoy!

And enjoy I did, standing at my window, admiring the view

Off to Florence for the weekend!  Be back with pictures!

Spaghetti alla puttanesca


8 thoughts on “Pasta alla Puttanesca

  1. Ellen says:

    i’m excited i found your blog! i studied abroad in Rome fall 2009 and LOVED it. where are you living? what are you studying?

    the pasta looks good!

  2. simplyshaka says:

    I just learned that puttanesca was “whore pasta”. Whats sad is that I’m Italian and had to learn that from Teresa from RHofNJs cookbook (surprisingly good by the way)

    Have a fabulous wknd, I can’t wait to see pics!!

  3. Lauren says:

    Ah, pasta. As she wrote in Eat Pray Love, you can gain 20 pounds in 3 months in the land of pasta. But, sister, I have just joined Weight Watchers here in the land of wine and cheese and sailing…so I don’t know if it makes any difference. At any rate, I loved Florence. I bought yarn at a yarn shop on the bridge that has only jewelry shops and I made a whole blanket that still reminds me of Florence to this day. I also bought a black leather jacket that I never wear. Oh, Florence. Have fun, Karla!

    • Karla says:

      Yeah I’m hoping I don’t gain 20lbs in the land of pasta. That wouldn’t be good. I’m trying to enjoy things but in moderation. Florence was great! Beautiful! You should most definitely throw on that leather jacket! I bet it’s great! Good luck with Weight Watchers! Let me know how it goes!


  4. anthony says:

    Nice work with the ho-noodles ;). Legend has it this dish was popular with the ladies of the night as it was quick and easy to prepare in between ‘clients’.

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