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.
- 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
- Bring a pot of salted water to a boil, ensure the pot is big enough to hold the pasta comfortably.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.