Ironic Valentine's Day Dish: Pasta Puttanesca

Ironic Valentine's Day Dish: Pasta Puttanesca

Emma Christensen
Feb 11, 2009

If you're feeling a little tongue-in-cheek this Valentine's Day, think about making up a big dish of pasta puttanesca! This classic Italian dish is easy to prepare, delicious, and has a story that will make your sweetie chuckle...

There are actually several stories surrounding this saucy dish! One story has it that prostitutes in Naples would make this dish in order to lure in prospective clients with its mouth-watering aroma. Another version says that the dish is so fast and easy to make that you can on to other things.

On the other hand, then the most practical (and boring!) explanation is that those same prostitutes from Naples were living on a tight budget and often had to make meals from the odds and ends in their pantries.

Whatever history you choose to believe, this is one of our favorite pasta dishes! It's really just a basic tomato sauce that's been dolled-up with black olives, capers, pepper flakes, and anchovies. Served over linguine, the resulting dish is pungent and savory with a good balance of flavors.

Here are a few recipes from around the web.

Pasta Puttanesca from Epicurious
Pasta Puttanesca from Mark Bittman
Pasta Puttanesca with Broken Artichoke Heart Salad (for even more irony!) from Smitten Kitchen

For some extra TLC, why not try your hand at making some fresh pasta to go with?!

Related: Weeknight Meal Tip: Ways to Doctor Jarred Tomato Sauce

(Image: Flickr member Crystl licensed under Creative Commons)

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