Penne alla Puttanesca


Penne alla Puttanesca

Various accounts exist as to how this dish might have gotten its name, which in dialect, means ‘prostitute style’. The name invokes an image of vitality and gaiety. The sauce is spicy and tangy, made of ingredients typical of Southern Italian cuisine. Some suggest that it is a dish fast and simple enough for a working girl to prepare at the end of a long night.


1 pound of Penne ( 500 g)

4 anchovies

2 clove of garlic

3 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

½ cup green or black olives, chopped

1 tablespoon capers

¼ cup minced Italian parsley

1 tin of chopped Italian tomatoes, or 4 fresh tomatoes in season

dried red chili peppers, to taste



Bring a large pot of salty water to a boil.

While waiting for the water to boil, pound anchovies and garlic into a paste with a mortar and pestle. Heat the oil in a pan, add the anchovy paste and saute for about 1 minute over medium heat. Add the remaining ingredients and cook for about 15 minutes. 

Add the pasta to the large pot of boiling water and cook al dente, about 8 minutes. Drain the pasta, return it to the pot and dress it with the sauce. Makes 4 servings.


Spaghetti Aglio Olio e Peperoncino (Spaghetti Garlic Oil and Hot Peppers) – another fast and delicious meal.