The English Post

Pasta alla Puttanesca

Written by Veronica Lavenia

Pasta alla Puttanesca is an Italian sauce, from the South of the Country. The origins of the name are uncertain but some studies and translations argue that the dish was originally served in a Neapolitan brothel. The bright colors of the ingredients also recalled the underwear worn by female escorts.

My twist is the use of a short Farro pasta. Farro is an ancient, unrefined Italian grain. You can find it in Italian specialty food stores. Failing that, you can replace with Kamut or wholemeal wheat pasta. The advantages of using non-refined wheat are multiple, both for the health and for the taste. The whole wheat pasta, for example, maintains better cooking (rigorously al dente), becoming much more digestible than an overcooked pasta.


Pasta alla Puttanesca: Ingredients

Serves 3

300 g (11 oz) Fusilli (or other short pasta)

Extra virgin olive oil, to taste

1 clove of garlic

500 g (17 oz) tomato pulp

50 g (2 oz) pitted black and green olives

1 tablespoon capers

Pinch of sea salt

Black pepper, to taste

Pasta alla Puttanesca: Method

  1. Cook the pasta al dente, in boiling salted water.
  2. In a saucepan, heat the oil, add the garlic (cleaned and chopped) and brown it.
  3. Add tomato pulp, olives and capers, leaving mix together the ingredients for a few minutes.
  4. Season pasta with the sauce. Add pepper to taste.

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About the author

Veronica Lavenia

Veronica, PhD, is an Italian based food writer. Born and raised in Italy, surrounded by the thriving culture and spirit of Sicily, Veronica was a University academic before becoming a food writer. In the context of academic research, she has published essays on the Spanish-American narrative in national and international Academic Journals. As freelance journalist, she wrote about book reviews and tennis. Food was the subject she thought about most so, inspired by family recipes, and valuable Italian culinary heritage, she moved into writing her experiences and studies on the subject.
Sustainability, seasonality and selection of raw materials (as much as possible local, organic and unrefined) are the basis of Veronica’s natural food philosophy.
Cookery author, "Gluten Free Heaven" magazine contributor, some of her works have appeared in "Vegetarian Living", "Veggie Magazine", "Lifestyle FOOD", "Australian Good Food & Travel Guide" and "Chickpea", among others.