Originating from the slums of Naples, Puttanesca sauce takes it name from the word puttana meaning prostitute or whore. Colorful folk tales exist linking the sauce to the working ladies. One common explanation was that Puttanesca Sauce was quickly made thereby making it an easy dish to prepare between clients. Puttanesca is a blending of typical southern Italian ingredients with piquant and gutsy flavors, not unlike the qualities of Napletiano locals.
A straightforward combination of tomatoes, garlic, anchovies, olives and capers, Puttanesca sauce delivers a robust flavorful punch to spaghetti or fish. The ingredients are basic components of a well stocked pantry, so even after a harrowing day of work you can pull together a satisfying dinner in absolutely no time.
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- 1 28 ounce can of imported San Marzano tomatoes
- 6 anchovie fillets
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced in half
- Large pinch of crushed red pepper
- ⅓ cup olive oil
- 1 heaping tablespoon of capers, drained and rinsed
- 12 oil cured back olives, pitted and coarsely chopped
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 3 Tbs. Italian parsley leaves, chopped
- Heat the olive oil in a medium sized heavy saucepan over medium-high heat.
- Using your hands, coarsely crush the San Marzano tomatoes.
- Once the oil is hot, turn the heat to medium and add the garlic halves, anchovies and crushed red pepper. Stir frequently using a wooden spoon or heat resistant spatula; the garlic will begin to sizzle and the anchovies will melt.
- Once the garlic become light golden in color, add the can of San Marzano tomatoes, including the liquid and stir.
- Bring the sauce to a simmer and continue to simmer for 10 minutes, stirring a few times. Add the capers and olives, simmer for an additional 2 to 3 minutes.
- The sauce is now ready to use immediately or can be refrigerated to use within the next few days. Add the chopped parsley to the finished dish.