Ah, Puttanesca. There isn’t a clear consensus as to the true origins of this sassy dish, but there does seem to be agreement that it hails from Naples. This is hands down one of my favorite meals and I’m so excited to be sharing this recipe. Why, you might ask?
Pasta Puttanesca is ready in less than 30 minutes, totally achievable using ingredients from your pantry, requires a bare minimum of prep work, and is completely delicious.
My connection to this dish dates back to the early 2000s. I was a vegetarian for an unfortunate number of years (give or take six years?), and my poor mother had to deal with one kid who didn’t eat any meat or fish, and one kid who wouldn’t eat pasta or basically any vegetables. She started making Pasta Puttanesca for me as a quick and easy weeknight meal, but 100% didn’t reveal that it contained anchovies. I can remember coming home after school and soccer practice on chilly fall evenings to an incredible smell in the house and the most comforting dinner.
There is so much flavor in Puttanesca sauce it is honestly absurd. Garlic, chili flakes, anchovy, tomato, capers, olives, herbs, and a good amount of cheese to top. This is a salty, tangy, umami DREAM.
Puttanesca sauce is also great served with chicken or fish. Just cut back on the recipe volume (go with half), and serve with a protein like crispy pan-fried chicken cutlets or grilled swordfish steaks.