Puttanesca Sauce

Puttanesca Sauce

A classic Italian pasta dish is Puttanesca. The name is a curious one, and yes, it does mean “prostitute” in Italian, the question is why?  Some say it is because its such a simple dish that the working women of a brothel made this between shifts. Another theory is that prostitutes, being poor would often pass by restaurants on the walk home and ask for food, they would throw whatever leftovers they had into a pan with leftover pasta.  Some say its simply a made up name because basically everything is thrown into the dish and is a “bastardized” version of what a pure Italian dish should be.

No matter what the case, it is on the menu of many Italian restaurants.  This is the most simple and classic. There are no exact measurements here, and even the olives you can change or replace with those you like.



  • Pitted Kalamata Olives
  • Anchovies
  • Capers
  • Garlic
  • Olive Oil
  • Tomato Sauce
  • Red Pepper Flakes
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Grated Romano and/or Pecorino cheese

Once you decide on the ingredients and the amount, the dish is basically done.  Just put them all into a pan and heat over low to medium heat to release all the flavors. Once they become fragrant and you see color on the garlic and the anchovies dissolve (at least 5 minutes), add the tomatoes and continue to cook.  Once the pasta is done cooking, add that in, toss until completely coated, turn off the heat and add in your grated pecorino, romano or parmagiano-reggiano cheese.  Again, no rules here, it is whatever you have on hand.