A classic Italian puttanesca recipe.
While many people who date chefs have fantasies of gourmet meals every night, they are soon shocked into the icy reality that many chefs do not cook at home.
Fortunately, that’s not true for Chef Rouge.
While he is only ever home before midnight 2 days a week, he does cook on his days off.
His passion for food is as ever present as my appetite and so I was surprised when he told me that one of his signature dishes was spaghetti puttanesca because I have never had it!
Puttanesca translates easiest to whore in English and there are many stories as to how it’s gotten its name – whatever the reason is I’m grateful.
I’m also grateful that in the heat of July he agreed to make it for me.
For my Italian friends who may comment on the authenticity, his version includes herbs throughout each stage and of course the inclusion of spalla or prosciutto because…
pork makes everything better!
The best part of spaghetti puttanesca is the sauce, make sure you save a bit of bread at the end for scarpetta.
- 200 grams dry spaghetti Tomato sauce 100g per person for a large meal
- 128 oz can of San Marzano tomatoes
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 1 cup olive oil
- 1 teaspoon dried chiles
- 1/2 cup fresh basil chopped
- 1 thumb-sized piece parmesan broken into small pieces
- 1 large onion diced
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2 large shallots julienned
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 teaspoon chili flakes
- 150 grams prosciutto julienned
- 2 white anchovies
- 6 leaves fresh basil julienned
- 8 leaves parsley torn
- 1 lemon zest only
- 1/4 cup capers
- 1/4 cup olives
- 3 pieces sun-dried tomato
- 1/4 cup white wine
- 2 roma tomatoes julienned (no seeds)
- Salt and cracked black pepper to taste
- Warm pan over medium high heat. Add olive oil and diced onion. Sautee for 3-4 minutes, until translucent (no colour).
- Add chopped basil, chile and garlic and sweat for 1 minute. Add tomatoes and reduce heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes. Tip: Cook the basil on high so it is fried rather than sauteed, not only does it help the flavour but it keeps the basil green.
- For garnish Heat large pan over medium high heat, once hot add olive oil. Sautee shallots for 1 minute. Add garlic and chili, sautee for 30 seconds. Add spalla, sautee 2 minutes, crank heat to high to crisp it.
- Turn heat back to medium, add anchovies and work spoon to break anchovy into oil. Add basil, parsley, lemon zest, capers, olives, sundried tomato, sautee 1 minute. Deglaze with white wine, add roma tomatoes and stir in cooked pasta.
- Taste tomato sauce for seasoning, don’t overseason as garnish will be salty. Put tomato sauce in bottom of bowl add spaghetti, top with more basil, parmesan cheese, black pepper and olive oil.