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Pasta alla Puttanesca

Pasta alla Puttanesca
  • coursePrimo piatto
  • difficultyEasy
  • preparation time30 minutes

Created in Napoli, this colorful recipe evokes southern Italy, from the briny taste of the characteristic capers and olives to the risque name ("puttanesca" translates to "in the style of prostitutes"). 

Pasta alla Puttanesca (Pasta with Tomatoes, Olives, & Capers)
Recipe courtesy of Eataly

Yield: 6 servings

1 (17.6-ounce) package of bucatini
1 (12.7-ounce) jar of capers and olive sauce
1 (14.1-ounce) can of peeled San Marzano tomatoes
4 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
Optional: 4 teaspoons of anchovy paste*
4 cloves of garlic cloves
1 handful of fresh parsley, torn
Sea salt, to taste

Bring a large pot with 6 quarts of water to a boil, and season with salt until it is as salty as the sea. Drop the pasta in the boiling water, stirring to prevent it from sticking. Cook the pasta according to the package instructions, or until it is al dente.

Meanwhile, in a saucepan, heat 3 tablespoons of the extra virgin olive oil. Add the whole cloves of garlic to infuse the oil. When the garlic is brown, remove and discard. Stir in the crushed tomatoes, the anchovy paste (if using),* and the jar of olive and caper sauce. Cook the mixture over medium heat until reduced and thickened.

When the pasta has reached the desired consistency, remove the pasta, reserving some of the pasta water, and add it directly to the pan with the sauce. Add pasta water to the sauce if more liquid is needed to loosen it. Toss the pasta well to coat it with the sauce.

Remove the pan from the heat, drizzle 1 tablespoon of olive oil, and toss. Garnish the pasta with the freshly torn parsley, divide among four warmed dishes, and serve immediately.

Buon appetito!

Naples Napoli campania

*The Neapolitan recipe doesn't call for anchovies, but many other southern cities love the bright flavors that anchovy paste adds to their pasta alla puttanesca. Add if desired!