[ Home ] [ Recipes ] [ Shirley's collected recipes ][Mom's Recipes]
Pasta Putanesca

Note: Another example of recipe redundancy, all using almost the same basic sauce ingredients.
One included scallops and shrimp (Martha's Vineyard, Charlotte's Garden Web Site). Another uses leftover cubed turkey. Two were presented as a salsa. Joy of Cooking Cookbook's version is called Marinara Sauce.


The legend behind Puttanesca, Italian for prostitute, is confusing, too. One has it that it was prepared by ladies of the night in Naples, Italy, during their lunch or dinner break. Another says it was concocted to entice clients into their brothel.

The salsa version from a Washington Post recipe is used for grilled red snapper. If used as a
salsa, skip the garlic and add juice of one lime and 2 teaspoons of balsamic or red wine vinegar.

6 tbs. olive oil

1 large can Italian plum tomatoes, seeded, chopped, and strained, reserving juice (or, 3
large tomatoes, peeled, chopped and seeded)

Assemble in a small bowl:
3 T capers, drained
2/3 cp black olives, pitted
3 anchovy fillets, rinsed, patted dry and chopped

Asssemble in small bowl:
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 small yellow onion, chopped
2 t fresh parsley
1 t lemon thyme
4 T fresh sweet basil or 1 T dried basil

3/4 pound fettuccine or spaghetti (use one pound for Puttanesca)
salt and pepper to taste

1. Chop fresh herbs with sharp knife or snip with scissors.
2. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add pasta, and cook until al dente,
about 12 minutes.
3. While pasta is cooking, heat 2 T of the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
Add onions and garlic and saute till lightly browned.
4. Add tomatoes, capers, olives, and anchovies and bring to a boil. Lower heat to a simmer]
and cook till thickened, about 5 minutes.
5. If using shrimp, sea scallops, or turkey, add now with fresh herbs and cook till tender,
about 3 minutes.
6. Transfer pasta to large bowl and toss with remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil.
7. Transfer to a large platter, top with the sauce, garnish with parsley.