Sex Worker Spaghetti? Relax, it’s a family recipe…
“Puttana” is Italian for “whore” – no wonder! Puttanesca sauce is so good it’s scandalous (it’s also cheap, quick and easy). Legend has it that this sauce was created by Italian courtesans who needed a quick meal that could go together fast between clients. More than likely, though, the name is a nod to the dish’s spirited flavor palette and the savory, unctuous experience of eating it.
Extremely fragrant – spicy on the tongue! – this Neapolitan pasta dish will fill your mouth with burst after burst of pungent tang in a nest of briny, slippery noodles. Serve it with your garlic breath and call it a day.
The sauce is, obviously, the star here. Feel free to swap out the traditional spaghetti for any other variety you prefer. Note: this recipe is calibrated towards middle-of-the-road American tastes. When Dr. Karl is feeling frisky, he doubles the spices (and you should too). Buon appetito!
1/4 c. extra-virgin olive oil
4 cloves garlic, smashed
4 anchovy fillets, chopped*
1 (28-oz.) crushed tomatoes
1/2 c. kalamata olives, pitted
1/4 c. capers
1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
1 lb. spaghetti
Chopped parsley, for garnish
Freshly grated Parmesan, for serving
Directions: make the pasta while cooking all the other stuff in a big pot for a while. Put it all together. Eat.
OPTIONAL SECRET INGREDIENT: Lemon zest. Many recipes omit this final touch but for others this flavor can be a “linchpin” that grounds all these wildly contrasting flavors.