Craig prefers it when I refer to this dish as “whore pasta.” I think it’s a little more exciting when it has colorful language in the name. I made it for dinner tonight. Mostly because I had this huge heirloom tomato from the grocery store that was starting to get a little iffy. Puttanesca is loosely translated as “of whores”, so pasta puttanesca is whore pasta. The concept is that whores don’t have a lot of time to put dinner on the table, they’re too busy collecting money for their penis servicing skills. The point is, you throw a bunch of flavorful elements that are probably in your pantry into a pan, cook it for as long as it takes the pasta to cook (dry pasta that is) and then serve it. The pasta elements are generally: tomato, garlic, anchovy (not puttanesca w/o anchovies), peppers, capers, and olives. Olive oil is also pretty important. Don’t use preserved lemons in yours. I gave it a shot and was not working off of a recipe. It was not the best choice I could have made. I’d probably double the olives and eliminate the preserved lemons entirely. I made the pasta myself. I was dying for some fresh fettuccine, so I made it.
ANYWAY…. the ingredients. Homemade pasta dough (I started the dough, then let it rest as I chopped everything for the sauce up), red pepper flakes, pitted kalamata olives, capers, nice anchovies(please don’t be weird about these, you can’t taste them, but they add SO MUCH to the flavor of the sauce), canned diced tomatoes and/or fresh tomatoes. Pretend that you see olive oil and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar in this photo.
Let’s talk pasta. I made 2 eggs of pasta. That’s how fresh pasta is measured when actually made at home and not purchased. It was more than the 2 of us ate, but 1 egg wouldn’t have been enough, so it was perfect. Just the right amount for the sauce and now we have some leftovers! The spread below is 1 of 2 eggs rolled out.
When the pasta floats (that should be pretty much immediately with fresh pasta, I waited til it came back to a boil), remove the pasta, and set aside in a bowl with some olive oil.
Craig is a well-known pasta-hater. He is wholly unwilling to eat any kind of “traditional sauce,” even homemade version (many!), and he gobbled this up, had seconds, and happily discussed changes that he’d want done next time(that weren’t remove the pasta and the sauce). I’ll try this next week with more olives and no preserved lemons. Please try puttanesca. Even if you’re not using a real recipe. Go with what you have, lean it towards what you like, and go from there.