Only recently did I learn how to make a puttanesca sauce recipe. It is fairly new to the Italian cuisine dating only as far back as the twentieth century.
Although being called a pasta dish, it solely lies in the seasonings of the sauce which is very spicy. The name in Italian meaning “whore style” or “in the style of a prostitute“, was first documented in an Italian novel in 1961. Legend is that the ladies of the evening concocted a spicy sauce to entice “clients” into their brothels.
It is said to have been made with anchovies, lots of oregano, spicy peppers and many other ingredients. This is funny to me because as a kid I made spaghetti sauce at home and with the exception of anchovies, I thought it was all made like this; hot, spicy and lots of seasoning. The original recipe is said to have included almost anything leftover that would fit into a tomato based sauce then cooked down until thick. The fragrance of this spicy sauce as it cooked would entice and draw in all the men within a wide range of the area. Maybe this is where the saying comes from “The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach”.
JUST A NOTE OF INTEREST: I was discussing this recipe with my daughter. One summer she spent a lot of time in Italy particularly Florence. She and her friends were walking in the “Red Light” section of Florence when someone told them they need to avoid that area. Evidently, women were learning how to make puttanesca sauce recipe because she could smell it as they walked down the street to leave.
Combine ingredients in a heavy cooking pan and sauté until onions are tender; add the following:
Cover and simmer for 1 hour. Serve with pasta and fresh grated Parmesan cheese.
Learn how to make this puttanesca sauce recipe with leftover turkey.
Sauté onion in hot oil until tender; add garlic and anchovy until garlic is golden.
Add tomatoes and bring to a simmer; cook 2 minutes.
Add olives, basil and hot pepper; simmer uncovered about 10 minutes.
Stir in turkey and simmer 5 minutes longer; serve with pasta.
This puttanesca sauce recipe is enough for a crowd or divide in small containers and freeze. It is made from scratch with fresh tomatoes and is very good.
Plunge tomatoes in boiling water then quickly in cold to loosen peel.
Cut in half and gently squeeze out the seeds; coarsely chop (should be 8 cups).
Heat oil in heavy Dutch oven; cook onions until tender.
Stir flour into onion mixture for about 2 minutes not letting it brown.
Add remaining ingredients and slowly cook, stirring often.
Cook and stir until thickened (be careful not to scorch); add more seasoning if needed.
This Puttanesca sauce recipe is also known as Harlot’s pasta.
Heat ¼ CUP of olive oil and butter in a large skillet over low heat.
Add the onion and garlic; sauté slowly until tender about 10 minutes.
Add tomatoes and simmer 10 minutes; stir in anchovies and pepper flakes.
Cook and stir 1 minute; stir in capers, olives and prosciutto.
Toss sauce with well drained hot cooked pasta; garnish with parsley.