BIG TONI’S ITALIAN KITCHEN

Spaghetti alla puttanesca                              Oct 2017

Whore’s spaghetti

Whore’s spaghetti.

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It is said that this dish was invented at the beginning of the 20th century by the owner of a brothel in Naples, he would serve this dish for the ladies of the night between appointments. 

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It is also said the colours of the sauce, tomato red, the green parsley, the deep purple of the olives reflected the bright colours of the underwear of the girls working at the brothel…

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I have no idea if this is true but it makes a good story and a great meal.

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Spaghetti alla puttanesca

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For four people

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  •     500g best quality spaghetti
  •     6 tbsp of olive oil
  •     1 large clove of garlic finely chopped
  •     1 small fresh red chilli finely chopped
  •     8 anchovy fillets 
  •     400g red, ripe tomatoes. Skinned, deseeded and roughly chopped or 1 x     400ml tin of Italian peeled plum tomatoes
  •     100g pitted black olives
  •     1 large tbsp capers (ideally preserved in salt)
  •     2 tbsp of roughly chopped parsley

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How to make:

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Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil.

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If the capers were preserved in salt wash them in warm water rinse them carefully. Put the olive oil, minced garlic and peperoncino into a frying pan over a low heat and let the garlic soften but don’t let it brown. Peel, deseed and chop the tomatoes, or open the tin.

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Add the anchovies to the pan and keeping the heat low gently stir them until they dissolve into the oil. 

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Add the tomatoes and turn up the  heat so the pan reaches a bubbling simmer. Add the capers and the olives and stir.

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Add the spaghetti to the pan of fast boiling water and cook, follow the instructions on the packet. I cook my pasta a minuet less as it I like it al dente

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Allow the sauce to bubble away and reduce a little and then add the parsley and stir.

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Once the pasta is cooked drain it and then tip both the sauce and spaghetti into a warm serving bowl.

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Mix gently, check seasoning and serve.

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Jason’s Wine recommendations

Spaghetti alla Puttanesca – with the strong and salty flavours of chillis, capers, olives and anchovies

Typically smooth with dense rich fruit.

Spaghetti alla Puttanesca – with the strong and salty flavours of chillis, capers, olives and anchovies this can be difficult for a wine to work well. Try a the classic marriage of a good southern Italian red or I think something more interesting are the reds from Alentejo area of Portugal. These wines are typically smooth with dense rich fruit .Valcatrina  Tinto 2015 at Laithwaites - £9.00

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Hope you enjoy it.