Penne alla Puttanesca

This dish is best served with penne pasta made from semolina pasta without egg or a very good quality dried variety.

Pasta alla Puttanesca, literally translated as “pasta in the style of a prostitute” is a very simple tangy, somewhat salty Southern Italian dish invented in the mid-20th century. Where the name comes from no one is quite sure! The ingredients are typical of the south; tomatoes, olive oil, anchovies, olives, capers and garlic.

Difficulty easy
Preparation Time 10 mins
Cooking Time 15 mins
Servings 4
Main Ingredients
  • 600g freshly made semolina penne pasta
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 handful capers, soaked in water and drained
  • 2 handfuls big black olives, pitted
  • 12 anchovy fillets, roughly chopped
  • 3 small dried red chilies, crumbled
  • 1tblsp dried oregano
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 x 400g cans tomatoes, drained of all juice and chopped
  • 1 good handful fresh basil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Main Instructions
  1. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil, ensure the pot is big enough to hold the pasta comfortably.
  2. Fry the garlic, capers, olives, anchovies, chilies, and oregano in a little olive oil, over medium heat, for a few minutes until its smells very fragrant. Add the tomatoes, turn up the heat and bring to the boil. Reduce to a simmer, and continue to cook for 4 or 5 minutes, until you have achieved a lovely, rich and glossy tomato sauce consistency. Remove from the heat while you cook the pasta.
  3. Cook the penne pasta in the pot of salted boiling water. Drain the pasta and place into the hot sauce. Toss the pasta and sauce together and mix well.
  4. Rip all the basil over it, season to taste and drizzle with good extra-virgin olive oil, toss together one last time and serve with plenty of fresh bread.
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