There are a few different translations of spaghetti alla puttanesca. The most widely accepted one being “whore style spaghetti”. I’m not sure what it has to do with ladies of the night, but I do know that it is tasty and it makes your kitchen smell incredible. Rachel Ray said that it got it’s name from prostitutes who would make it to entice customers in from the street. She would know, that dirty bxxxh. This recipe leaves out the traditional anchovies, making it a flavorful vegan dish.
- 2 T. olive oil, divided
- 1/2 yellow onion, diced
- 1/2 t. crushed red pepper flakes
- 25-30 kalamata olives, pitted and roughly chopped
- 3 T. capers, drained, plus 1 T. brine from the jar
- 1 t. dried oregano
- 1 T. tomato paste
- salt and pepper
- 1 28 oz. can crushed or pureed tomatoes- the ones I used were more like a tomato puree, no chunks of tomatoes
- 1/4 C. fresh oregano, chopped
- 1/4 C. fresh parsley, chopped
- grated parmesan, optional
Heat 1 T. of the oil on medium heat. Add the onion and cook for about three minutes. Add the pepper flakes, olives, and capers. Stir and cook for another three minutes. Add the oregano, tomato paste, and salt and pepper to taste. Stir to coat with the tomato paste and cook for one minute. Pour in the can of tomatoes.
Stir to combine, and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes to one hour. Stir in the rest of the oil. If the sauce becomes too thick, simmer it with the lid on. Cook one pound of spaghetti or other long pasta according to the package directions and drain it. Toss the hot pasta with the sauce and top with the fresh herbs and cheese if desired.