Even with a risqué background, puttanesca has a delicious history and a fun future when made from the ancient Italian grain, farro.
“Penne 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.
- 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 white olives
- 1 tablespoon capers
- sea salt and pepper to taste
- Cook the pasta "al dente" in boiling salted water.
- In a saucepan, heat the oil, add the garlic (cleaned and chopped) and brown it.
- Add tomato pulp, olives and capers, leaving mix together the ingredients for a few minutes.
- Season pasta with the sauce, adding pepper to taste.
Veronica is a born and raised Italian. She inherited her love for travel, passion for cooking and natural, sustainable, healthy slow food from her parents. Her works have appeared in 'Vegetarian Living', 'Veggie Magazine', 'Lifestyle food', 'Australian Good Food & Travel Guide', 'Chickpea' and 'Free from Heaven', among others. She is the author of "Panini: the simple tastes of Italian style bread"; 'The Rustic Italian bakery", "The Vegetarian Italian Kitchen" and "A Modern Italian table", published by New Holland Publishers Australia.