Pasta Puttanesca: Hooker's Pasta

This is probably my favorite tomato based sauce in the world.
It's CHEAP and EASY! (hence the name!).

There is much debate as to where the name of this sauce comes from.

The word "puttana" in Italian means "whore" or "prostitute".
Read this interesting Wikipedia article to see the origins of my favorite peasant sauce.

There is no real recipe for this sauce, it was created from things that you might have (& that I always have) in my larder.

Can of tomatoes

You can use more or less of any ingredient and if you double it you can freeze some for later!

Here is how I make it:

~ 1/2 can anchovies
~ 3 tbsp olive oil
~ 3-4 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
~ handful of capers
~ handful of good black olives (kalamata or gaeta) NEVER use canned rubber olives!
~ 1 28 oz. can of San Marzano tomatoes with juice (you can use any canned tomatoes, crushed or chopped tomatoes are fine too)
~ fresh oregano or basil if you have it
~ dash of hot pepper flakes

In a heavy skillet, heat your olive oil on medium and cook your anchovies and garlic until the anchovies start to dissolve.

Add your tomatoes, olives, capers and seasonings and simmer about 30 minutes until the sauce is nice and thick.

Serve over penne or linguine.
This makes enough sauce for 1 lb. of pasta to serve 4 people.

It's SO good and yet SO simple.


Ciao Chow Linda said…
Isn't it true that some of the simplest recipes are the best? Here is a case in point. Love the photos. Where did you dig up that brothel one? Hysterical.
You are so funny.
I never know what will pop up on your blog.
Patsyk said…
Even at 8 a.m., that looks absolutely delicious!
kat said…
Sometmes the simplest things are just the best.
I'm hooked on this sauce. Buying the ingredients today to eat tonight. Thanks. ♥Rosemary
Peter M said…
Not all hookers are cheap & easy...just ask Elliot Spitzer on that one!

I find puttanesca to be a good, quick dish when you're lazy or too tired and famished.
LOVE pasta puttanesca! It's my favorite way to use anchovies. - John
Giff said…
classic :)

that picture you found is hysterical
One of my all time favorites!!! Love it! Love the plate too. Did you get it from Crate and Barrel?
Gosh how I wish I liked olives!! I try them every few months to see if my taste buds have miraculously matured, to no avail just yet. Looks delicious though!
LaDue & Crew said…
Love the pic!! Perfect for this post... I never knew the word origin.
Pam said…
One of my very favorite sauces - EVER. Great photos Stacey.
Anonymous said…
Love your site! I always visit but this is my first comment, question really. Can the anchovies be omitted? I'm just wondering if I'll ruin the recipe/taste if I don't add them.

Looks absolutely delish though, guess I'll just have to try it and see for myself!
Stacey Snacks said…
MUST include little anchovies!
They dissolve when you cook them in the pan, so you won't even notice them but provide the saltiness to the capers and olives.
I promise you will love this!
Bob said…
Ha! That's awesome. Just awesome. :D
~m said…
try adding golden raisins and toasted pine nuts! if you're not overwhelmed, you'll love it!
Karen said…
I love the name and make this all the time using whatever I have at the time. I *always* use anchovies in my pasta sauces; I wish people would give them a try :)
Mila said…
Stacy I love this pasta too! Simple and yummy!
Andrea said…
Wow - you were my inspiration for tonight's dinner. Just finished and it was delicious. This was my dad's favorite past dish so I always think of him when I make it.
Anonymous said…
yes, whore's pasta. or, as my mom used to call it when i was little, 'pasta from the women of the night". huh? i had no freaking clue what she meant back then. i'll have to remember that when i have kids. i guess telling your 8 year old she's about to eat some whore's pasta wouldn't be the best thing to do, huh?
StaceyEsq said…
I cannot wait to make this! Unfortunately, I don't have anchovies on hand, but I will pick up some tomorrow (along with some really good red wine)! Thanks in advance for a great recipe!
Anonymous said…
As much as I love puttanesca, it's odd that I've never made this at home. I'll have to fix that next week.
The Food Hunter said…
This has always been one of my favorites. So easy with so much taste.
Lori Lynn said…
I haven't had this in ages. I am making it this week! Good idea.
Lori Lynn said…
Hey, I just noticed that bowl with the basil leaves. Cool! Love it.
StaceyEsq said…
This was unbelievably delicious!! And so simple! My husband LOVED it and wants me to keep making more of your posted recipes (which, of course, you know I will)! Thanks, Stacey!
~m said…
thanks for motivating me to try it with anchovies! despite my initial skepticism ( it worked out very well (!

and now i have a new ingredient in my repertoire!

really: thank you :)
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