Thursday, June 17, 2010


My absolute favorite pasta is puttanesca or whore's spaghetti. I had the privilege of dining with a very fine lady a few years ago and she told me a story about puttanesca. She said that it's called puttanesca because it was the only spaghetti that puttanas (whores) can afford. So basically in Italy, the ingredients of this pasta are very inexpensive whereas here, they cost an arm an a leg. There are other theories about the origin of puttanesca. You can read them here at Wikipedia.

My puttanesca is always short on ingredients because when I crave for it, there's usually one missing ingredient. This one is no exception. I had no capers when I cooked this.

I used Rachael Ray's recipe for this puttanesca.

You will need:
  • EVOO
  • garlic
  • crushed pepper flakes
  • black pitted, sliced olives
  • anchovies
  • capers
  • canned crushed tomatoes
  • S&P
  • parsley
  • thin spaghetti
  • grated Romano or Parmesan cheese
Put some EVOO in a pan. Please make sure that when you cook sour/acidic food, you should use a Teflon, non-stick pan or anything that's not metal/aluminum. It's bad for your health, causes Alzheimer's. Well, that's what they say but doing a quick research suggests that there is no link between aluminum cookware and Alzheimer's. Hmmm.. What should we believe then? My rule of thumb is, it never hurts to be safe/careful. If you have an alternative cookware, by all means use that. But if you don't, you have research to back you up. I use Teflon because I have one and it doesn't hurt if I believe that Alzheimer's thing, right?

So on with the program.

In a pan, add some chopped garlic and anchovy fillets. Break up the anchovy into tiny pieces. Cook until the anchovies dissolve into the oil and the garlic is fragrant. Wonderful smell, I tell you! I didn't want the anchovies to dissolve into the oil so I kinda skipped that part. Add the rest of the ingredients - olives, capers, canned tomatoes and parsley. Season with pepper. Taste first before you put salt as the anchovies are already salty. I had to put sea salt because the canned tomatoes were too sour. Bring to a bubble then simmer on low heat for about 5-8 minutes. Be sure to check every now and then as you might run out of liquid. Toss with cooked thin spaghetti, top with grated Romano or Parmesan and serve with bread to sop up the sauce. Wonderful to have on a romantic dinner for two. 

For affordable EVOO and anchovies, I use the Dona Elena brand. The anchovies cost around Php97 a can. For black olives, Figaro is quite affordable too. Just around Php70 for one big bottle. 


  1. Ohhh I wanna try this! Thanks for sharing the recipe. :3

  2. You're welcome! Tell me how it goes, okay?

  3. I agree with what you said that the ingredients here costs an arm and a leg, lucky for Italians, haha. Either way, I'm a fan of Puttanesca or absolutely anything pasta. Thanks for sharing. I'm a new follower of your blog too ^_^



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