Spaghetti alla puttanesca recipe

This recipe is perfect for entertaining surprise guests: spaghetti alla puttanesca.
Picture: Claus Eckert

If unexpected guests arrive, they are well served with spaghetti alla puttanesca. With a spicy tomato sauce made from anchovies, olives and capers, you can shine with an anecdote from southern Italy.

LAre you also obsessed with having a large group of visitors come unexpectedly and want to feed them the best? Then I should submit one of the pasta recipes that have been set aside for this purpose. All essential ingredients except garlic, which should always be available in some form, are good to keep in stock. For example, in a basement shelf reserved for this purpose. The sauce can be polarizing – many are skeptical of seafood, intense flavors and spiciness. I’m also not thrilled when my pizza is topped with whole anchovies. But in this case, it’s okay: even if the sauce is intense and spicy, it’s perspective on the plate in the mixture of mild pasta.

The literal translation of the dish from southern Italy is: “whore’s way”. There are different stories about its origin. One says that the dish first appeared in Neapolitan brothels at the beginning of the 20th century, on the one hand to provide the staff with strong refreshment from readily available and cheap ingredients, and on the other hand to attract customers with an enticing aroma. Another anecdote is based on the fact that “porca puttana” can also mean “Oh shit” in Italian. When the hungry traveling group came to the “fed” restaurant, they asked the irritated innkeeper: “Then give us shit!” And he mixed in a hot, piquant tomato sauce made with anchovies, olives, and capers. That’s how you end up in the culinary history books.


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