Tangy & Salty Classic Italian Tomato Sauce
Puttanesca Sauce is a classic, Southern Italian tomato sauce typically known for being tangy and a bit salty, due to addition of capers and olives (and in some cases anchovies). This recipe, from Casina Rossa of Abruzzo, is a sweet and savory mix of capers, olives, Italian pine nuts and raisins. Toss with roasted cauliflower or pasta, or bake rock cod fillets in a layer of sauce in a glass baking dish. Traditionally, Puttanesca Sauce is served with spaghetti, although it also goes well with penne, bucatini, linguine and orecchiette.
Legends have it that sugo alla puttanesca, or "whore's style sauce", was created sometime in the mid-20th century by prostitutes in, or around, Naples. Some claim it was a dish created out of necessity - the women didn't have much time to prepare meals between "things they needed to do", and so they threw a sauce together of whatever was in their pantry. Others say the sauce was invented as an allurement - the wafting smell of the sauce would entice gentlemen callers to their dwellings. Wherever the origin, puttanesca sauce recipes differ from region to region, but are always tomato-based with the addition olives, capers and garlic.
About Casina Rossa: Nicola DeLaurentis and his wife Paola own the artisan enterprise Casina Rossa, located near Roccascalegna, Abruzzo. They are dedicated to preserving traditional Italian food culture with their line of fine products including sauces and specialty salts.