Puttanesca Sauce - a story

Okie dokie, here we go. Friday night I went to the North End with two swarthy Italian men, my bf & his dad. Ha ha! I ordered the Spaghetti with Puttanesca Sauce. This prompted a story from John's dad about the origins of puttanseca.

Puttan in Italian is the word for prostitute. The story I heard on Friday was that there was a brothel in Italy that would serve the prostitutes for free because their presence at the place was good for business. In return for boosting the amount of restaurant customers, the prostitutes received a free meal. In order to keep costs down, though, the recipe contained all cheap ingredients: olives, anchovy paste, capers. Still filling, but no meat.

I went to old unreliable Wikipedia's pasta puttanesca entry and they have a whole bunch of variations on the story or the origins of puttanesca sauce. Including the fact that the salty, pungent ingredients were reminscent of the scent of Ladies of the Night, ifyanowhattameen, which is sorta icky.

We're going to make some next time we cook, because no matter its origins, it's tasty. I'll post the final recipe when I've made it, but I'm thinkging:

1/2 c. grape tomatoes, halved
1 can of crushed tomatores
1-2 tbs anchovy paste or minced filets
1 lbs various pitted olives from the olive bar - green, kalamata, black, etc
1 tbs evoo
1 small onion, chopped
1 tbs capers
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
Fresh Italian parsley
Basil

And now I have my grocery list!

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