Despite of its translation, meaning: prostitute's pasta - this is one of my all time favourite pasta dish. It's rough, rustic and feisty, really lives up to its name. I was only a teenager when I first had this pasta in an Italian restaurant in Los Angeles. I read the description of the dish and with my curiosity I was lured into ordering it. And I was not left disappointed.
A typical pasta puttanesca recipe recipe would include ingredients such as anchovy, chilli, garlic, capers and black olives. And the sauce is also as exciting as its name suggests. It's a tomato based sauce with a generous amount of olive oil and a hit of red wine vinegar.
You really get all the flavours... the saltiness from the anchovy and black olives; spicy chilli and a lovely fresh sourness from the capers and red wine vinegar in the sauce.
I added some sausages to the pasta this evening to add some meatiness although there's no need to. I just happened to have some in the fridge. In fact, if you're a vegetarian, simply leave out the anchovy and just add a little bit more capers and black olives.
I am not so sure where the original pasta puttanesca recipe came from. One theory says this pasta was a quick, cheap meal that "ladies of the night" could prepare between customers. But whatever its origin, one thing for sure, it's delicious.