A simpler, punchier, spaghetti sauce would be hard to find. Puttanesca seems to have originated in the middle of the last century and there are a few versions of the recipe around; this one is beautiful and needs nothing else.
The name translates into ‘Spaghetti in the style of a prostitute’. Makes it more exciting I think.
People turn their noses up at anchovies, olives and capers but anchovies melt away and just leave a beautiful umami flavour, capers add an exciting mild zing and the olives a satisfying saltiness; combine that with the sweetness of the tomatoes and herbiness of the oregano — sex in a frying pan! Put any preconceptions aside and open your tastebuds to this classic pasta dish.
*I use frozen chopped garlic and chilli and you can even buy frozen chopped tomato which is fantastic for speed.
Cook the pasta in a large saucepan of boiling water until ‘al dente. Mean time heat a big glug of olive oil in a frying pan and add the garlic, chilli and anchovies, cook for a minute before adding the tomatoes, olives, capers and oregano.
Simmer and stir for a few minutes before draining the pasta (tip, never over-drain pasta as it will quickly clump, retain some of the starchy water to keep it nicely separate and unctuous) and adding the sauce. Combine the sauce and pasta using two forks.
Serve with a green salad and some good grated Parmesan cheese.
Pasta is underrated. OK so you don’t want to live on washing up bowls of the stuff but it gives you energy in the form of complex carbs and if cooked al dente it actually releases its energy quite slowly. It also acts as host to some beautifully nutritious sauces. This one gives you lycopene from the tomatoes and some great healthy fats from the olives, olive oil and anchovies.
Eat the spaghetti, forgetti your regretti.