Search This Blog

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

[Pasta alla Puttanesca] Whore's style tangy pasta

Pasta alla puttanesca means literally "whore's style pasta" in Italian.

According to the definition of "Puttanesca" is
"pasta served with or being a pungent tomato sauce typically containing olives, garlic, capers, hot pepper, and sometimes anchovies —usually used postpositively <pasta puttanesca>"
It is known that the pasta was invented in mid-1950s.
There are a few different versions of the origins of this pasta.
One of the most famous legend(?) is that it was a quick and easy pasta sauce for the Puttanas to make in between customers, hence the name Puttanesca sauce.

It has a pungeant, spicy, tangy flavour.

The sauce alone is called sugo alla puttanesca in Italian.I make this pasta usually with penne, but traditionally, the sauce is served with spaghetti.

You can give and take a couple of ingredients, but I think all the common ingredients are "must"
It depends on your taste.
The one ingredient that I like to add is "canned tuna"
There are not many people who put tuna to pasta alla puttanesca.
But, I do.

 Here goes the recipe:

300g penne or spaghetti
3 cloves garlic, sliced
2 cups tomatoes, diced
6-7 anchovy filets, chopped
20+ olives, pitted (sliced if you want)
2 pepperoncini (small Italian peppers)
1 can tuna
1 lemon1-2 bunch fresh basil 4 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons capers (optional)

How to make
1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. 
Cook pasta in boiling water for 7-8 minutes to al dente; drain.
2. Leave lemon in the vegetable wash for 5 minutes.

Zest lemon and squeeze lemon juice.

Mix it with drained tuna and chopped basil.

Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium;

3. Cook garlic and crushed pepperoncini in oil until golden. 

4. Chop  and add anchovies
(it will make some scary sound and splash, but don't worry~)

5. Add tomatoes, and cook another 5 minutes. 

6. Add tuna with lemon juice & basil mix

7. Stir in pasta cooked.

8. Stir in capers and olives , and serve.

There are not any rich ingredients going in this pasta.
Nonetheless, this is quite tangy and flavourful pasta.

I highly recommend it!

Bon app├ętit!

Pasta alla Puttanesca


  1. Yummy yummers in my tummy! I am salivating with this recipe. The only thing that I would change to this recipe, is that I'd use spaghetti. I love twirling my fork in the long strands of pasta. That's the kid in me. :)

    Gorgeous recipe. Thank you!


    1. Good evening Virginia,
      I love this pasta too. It smells so good too.
      And you are absolutely right. The classic puttanesca should be made with spaghetti.
      I don't usually make this for dinner, because my kids can't anything spicy. So what I do is "make and pack for lunch." Short pasta is easy to eat when it's in a container. :)
      BTW, I will soon make all of your salads :) and do the posting~