Here is a very napolitan pasta dish, very very simple, and yet unexpectedly flavorful. Despite being a very common recipe in my region and all over the south of Italy, credit for this specific version goes to my uncle Antonio, Zio Antonio. The thing is, my mom always cooked this pasta, but it was never that special or good, so I didn’t think much of it. Things changed when I had Puttanesca at Zio Antonio & Pupa’s place, and the recipe was presented to me under a brand new light. Zio Antonio’s trick was simple enough: exaggerate. A lot of tomatoes, a lot of olives and capers, a LOT of basil and parsley. The sauce must be rich!
Puttanesca comes from “puttana”, which is a bit of a bad word to say prostitute. The stories of why this recipe is called so are very many and not that interesting, so I’ll skip that. It’s a very summery dish, very quick, very easy. But you’ll need two key ingredients that might not be so common outside of Italy: anchovies and salt-preserved capers. I can find both of them here in Sweden, so I’m sure you’ll manage. I’ll talk about them and other ingredients in a special note* to the directions for the recipe.