Some weeks ago I explained I was involved in a new project and finally I can tell you about it. Since April I am collaborating with Elba Gastronomia, an Italian food store located in La Coruña city center. From now on I will be developing two Italian recipes for them which you could get on this blog as well as at the store. Also, you can follow their Facebook and Instagram accounts to see some of my photos too.
And what’s best than starting with such a classic Italian recipe as spaghetti alla puttanesca?
This famous dish from the Campania region in the south of Italy has always been a matter of controversy since it is still uncertain the origin of the term, which in Italian remembers to the word of “prostitute”.
Some people say the name of this sauce comes from the beginning of the 20th century. The owner of a brothel in the Spanish neighborhood in Napoli (the Campania main city) served pasta alla puttanesca to his clients, due to the easy and fast way to prepare the dish.
Others think that is because of the girls’ underwear. The different colours of their clothes may make reference to the dish: the green of the cappers, the red of the tomato and the dark purple of the olives.
Nonetheless today we can enjoy this delicious recipe which is already a classic not only in Napoli but all around Italy.
INGREDIENTS for 2 people
160 gr (5’3 oz) spaghetti
250 gr (1 ¼ cups) ripe tomatoes
50 gr (⅓ cups) Gaeta olives
4 anchovies in olive oil
1 tbsp capers in dry salt
1 clove of garlic
1 chili pepper
1 tbsp tomato concentrate
Extra virgin olive oil and salt to taste
Let’s start with the tomatoes. After washing them, make a cross with the help of a knife and blanch them. Then, peel, remove the seeds and cut into pieces of 1 cm each (0’4 inches). Set aside.
Now remove the salt from the capers under current cold water. Repite this 3-4 times (to avoid having a too salty dish). Drain the anchovies and remove the stones from the olives.
In a large frying pan heat some olive oil and sauté the garlic. Later throw it away, add the anchovies and cook them for 5 minutes so they start dissolving. Add the capers and olives. After a couple of minutes add the tomatoes, chopped chili and tomato concentrate. Bring to a simmer for 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a large pot with few salt, cook the spaghetti (I used Rummo) and cook al dente (follow package directions). In my case it was just 9 minutes. Then drain the pasta well and transfer it to the saucepan. Toss to coat.
***This dish is not served with grated cheese because the lactose kills the capsaicin, the active component in several spicy peppers.
Photography & Stylism: Carlota Fariña
More on Instagram: @carlotafarina