Recipe for spaghetti puttanesca

Karoline Boehm Goodnick for The Boston Globe

Serves 4

Vibrant with capers, crushed red pepper, and garlic, this chunky, flavorful dish comes together in minutes. In fact, that’s one reason for the name, which means “in the style of the prostitute.” Some speculate that it is the quick way you can pull this together that made it a favorite.

Salt, to taste
1 pound thin spaghetti
¼ cup olive oil
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
½ teaspoon crushed red pepper, or more to taste
4 anchovy fillets, patted dry and coarsely chopped
2 teaspoons tomato paste
1 can (28 ounces) whole
tomatoes, drained and crushed in a bowl
½ cup pitted black olives, coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons capers
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil or parsley (for garnish)

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1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the spaghetti and cook, stirring occasionally, for 8 minutes or until it is tender but still has some bite.

2. Meanwhile, in a large skillet over medium heat, heat the oil, garlic, and red pepper until warm. Add the anchovies and mash them with the back of a spoon. Add the tomato paste and stir well. Stir in the tomatoes, olives, and capers. Lower the heat and let the mixture simmer for 5 minutes.

3. Dip a measuring cup into the pasta water and remove ½ cup. Drain the pasta and without rinsing it, return it to the pot.

4. Taste the sauce for seasoning and add salt and red pepper, if you like. If the sauce seems thick, add some of the pasta water, a few tablespoons at a time. Add a ladle of sauce to each of
4 shallow bowls. Add pasta to each one, and ladle more sauce on top. Garnish with pepper and basil or parsley.
Talia Ralph. Adapted from
La Cucina Italiana