“Puttana” is the Italian word for prostitute and I love the story of how pasta puttanesca was named. Most respectable Italian women used to (and some indeed still do) shop for fresh Ingredients every day. But not the busy working girls of Naples, who worked a 6-and-a-half day week – they had no time to visit the fresh food markets, so had to make do with a quick but tasty pasta sauce made from pantry staples such as canned tomatoes, preserved anchovies, capers and olives. Puttanesca is a very versatile sauce, delicious with any dried pasta, including penne (I like the smooth version called ‘penne lisce’) and spaghetti. Always use good Italian canned tomatoes, such as Mutti, and enjoy rigatoni puttanesca with a simple savoury red wine, like the Mediterrané Sangiovese – Italian soul from Barossa soil. Here’s all you need to know about cooking pasta perfectly (scroll down to Q&A).
Serves 4 as a starter
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