Linguine alla Puttanesca
I like pasta and Italian food, and linguine alla puttanesca is one of my favorites. I especially like to make it when the fridge is empty as I always have linguine alla puttanesca ingredients as part of my basic supplies. Cooking with basic ingredients like these brings out my creativity.
There are many stories about the origins of the “puttanesca” sugo. Theories about the etymology of the word also. And versions with slight variations in Naples, Sicily, and Lazion. It is a wonderful weekend or weeknight sauce that is easy to make with pantry staples.
- Servings 4
- 450 grams (1 pound) linguine
- Extra-virgin olive oil, as needed
- 8 anchovies in olive oil, drained and finely chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 400 grams (14 ounces) canned chopped tomatoes
- 10 ml (2 teaspoons) capers, rinsed of salt
- Black olives, coarsely chopped, as needed
- Red pepper (optional), fresh minced or flakes
- Parsley, chopped, as needed
- Finely grated zest and juice of 1 lemon (optional)
- Bring a pot of well-salted water (7 grams salt per liter of water) to a boil. Cook the linguine until softened but still with a “bite” — firmer than “al dente.” Set aside in the cooking water; do not drain.
2. In a wide saucepan over medium heat, heat the oil until shimmering. Add garlic, anchovies and red pepper. Stir until the anchovies have distintegrated, 2-3 minutes.
3. Add a ladle of pasta cooking water and the canned tomatoes with their juices. Simmer for 15 minutes.
4. Reserve several cups of the pasta water, then drain the linguine and add the pasta to the saucepan. Add the capers and black olives, and toss to mix. Add pasta water a ladleful at a time until the sauce is the desired consistency. Add the parsley and, if desired, lemon zest and juice to taste. Toss again, and serve.