This dish was actually invented by an innkeeper in Ischia. The story is that late one night guests were hungry and there was no food left. The innkeeper quickly put together a pasta dish with whatever he had on hand which included some tomatoes, olives, capers and anchovies. He said he put together a “putanatta”. It’s a slang word for throwing together some left overs. But the actual meaning of the word is whore. The following night the customer came in requesting the same thing because it was so delicious. The dish was so delicious that other customers wanted it too! But the chef was reluctant to put it on the menu because he was afraid it was offensive. So he lightened it up a little by calling it Pasta Putanesca.
12 vine ripened cherry tomatoes sliced in half
4 anchovy filets
2 garlic cloves- sliced thin
¼ cup of capers
¼ cup of sliced Kalamata olives (about 20 olives)
Pinch of red pepper flakes
¼ cup of sherry
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon of chopped parsley
Pinch of oregano
½ pound of cooked spaghetti
Note: The measurements of the ingredients don’t have to be exact. Remember it’s whatever you have on hand that makes it special!
- Pour extra virgin Olive oil in skillet and add sliced garlic, sliced olives and capers. Sauté on medium heat until garlic becomes golden brown.
2. Turn off heat and add anchovies and sherry. Turn heat back on to medium and stir breaking up the anchovies until anchovies melt.
3. Add the sliced cherry tomatoes. Tomatoes must be fully ripened into a bright red. Cook on medium heat until heated through.
4. Cook pasta to your liking and add to skillet.
5. Also add a ladle of pasta water.
6. Add chopped parsley and a pinch of oregano
Stir well and serve!