What is known in Italian as spaghetti in the style of a prostitute is perhaps the most alluring pasta dish around. My no-cook Spaghetti Alla Puttanesca is divine.
No-cook Spaghetti Alla Puttanesca is no ordinary pasta dish. The history behind its name is quite entertaining, especially for an Italian girl like me. It translates to mean “spaghetti in the style of a prostitute.” As the story goes, the dish Spaghetti Alla Puttanesca originated in the mid-twentieth century in the seaport of Naples. The prostitutes of the city made this dish and placed it on their window sills, knowing its aromatic scent would lure sailors for their services.
More BuzzChomp: Kale and Farro Salad with Poppy Seed Dressing
Whether or not the story is true, there is no denying the incredible allure of this flavorful sauce. My own take on this classic has attracted many devotees of its own over the years. My sauce is a no-cook version, because we do not cook our sauce. The original recipe calls for a simmered sauce served with pasta. I love my no-cook variation served with a crisp salad, fresh Italian bread, and dry white wine. Bon appetit!
No-Cook Spaghetti Alla Puttanesca
- 2 beefsteak tomatoes (about 1 lb.), halved crosswise, seeds removed
- 2 garlic cloves, finely grated
- 1 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
- 3 oil-packed anchovy fillets, chopped (optional)
- 2 tsp. kosher salt
- 1½ cups cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1 cup Kalamata or Castelvetrano olives, pitted and halved
- 2 Tbsp. drained capers
- ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
- 12 oz. spaghetti
- ¼ cup finely chopped basil
- 3 Tbsp. unsalted butter, cut into pieces
- Pulse beefsteak tomatoes, garlic, red pepper flakes, anchovy fillets (optional), and salt in a food processor until smooth.
- Transfer sauce from your food processor to a large bowl and mix in cherry tomatoes, olives, capers, and olive oil. Set aside.
- Cook spaghetti in a large pot of boiling salted water, stirring occasionally, until the pasta is al dente.
- Drain pasta, reserving ¼ cup of your pasta cooking liquid.
- Add pasta, parsley, and butter to the sauce. Toss vigorously with tongs, adding a splash of pasta cooking liquid, or more as needed, to create an emulsified sauce that coats the pasta.
- Divide among serving bowls and drizzle with additional olive oil.
BuzzChomp is an affiliate for products and services recommended herein. Please read our Full Disclaimer for further information on affiliate programs and opportunities.