Pasta alla Puttanesca is arguably one of the most classic pasta dishes, both in Italy and around the world and one of my absolute favorites to cook and eat. It’s pungent and rich in traditional Mediterranean flavors like olives, capers, tomatoes and oregano, so much so that is impossible not to love it!
According to tradition, this pasta dish was created on the island of Ischia, in the Gulf of Naples, one night around 100 years ago, when a group of hungry people entered into a local restaurant asking for something to eat. As it was really late, the owner took what he had on hand, cooked everything together and created this recipe on the spot. It came out so delicious that nowadays it is one of the most traditional pasta recipes from Naples and surroundings!
As Pasta alla Puttanesca is really simple to make and uses just a handful of ingredients, it is not usually found in restaurants. On the other hand, I can assure you that if you are invited for lunch or dinner at a real Neapolitan house, you will have a fair chance to eat it as the first course of your meal. The sauce is salty, tangy and fragrant and has a pretty strong flavor that always reminds me of its Parthenopean origin: absolutely delicious! It is usually served over spaghetti pasta, but linguine, bucatini and reginette work just as well.
If you are not a great fan of anchovies you can leave them out of the recipe and you will still get an extremely tasty pasta dish. However, I encourage you to try it the traditional way as it might surprise you. In fact, when you cook anchovy fillets in olive oil on low heat they basically dissolve leaving behind just a wonderful mild flavor.
Pasta Puttanesca, Weight Loss and Health
When most of us think of pasta, we usually don’t associate it with losing weight. However, by eating traditional pasta recipes from the Mediterranean, pasta dishes can totally fit into a weight loss diet. Pasta in the Mediterranean is typically served with lots of vegetables, extra virgin olive oil, and less pasta than a typical pasta dish served in America. Also, the pasta is prepared al dente, which lowers its glycemic index, effecting blood sugar levels much, much less.
This traditional recipe from Italy includes tuna, which is a great source of healthy protein and omega-3 fatty acids. Adding more tuna into your diet is awesome for weight loss. The abundance of protein in tuna fills you up and reduces cravings.
More traditional Italian recipes from Giorgia Fontana