"Spaghetti alla Puttanesca" recipe - "Strumpet's way Spaghetti"

“Spaghetti alla Puttanesca” recipe – “Strumpet’s Spaghetti”

    • Prep Time
    • Minutes
    • Cook Time
    • Minutes
    • Difficulty Level

Total Cost: UK/£ 5.82*

Cost/portion: UK/£ 1.45*

Utensils you will need

One 4lt saucepan
One strainer
One small bowl
One chef knife
One paring knife
One chopping board
One large non-stick frying pan
One kitchen cloth
Cooking string
One zester or grater
One 6lt saucepan
One wooden spatula or silicon spatula
One pasta server or one strainer
One ladle or a jug

Note for the users: please click on the label “HOW TO” to watch the slide-show of each cooking step.

* Please note that both total cost and cost per portion are approximate and that can vary according to seasons and to different conditions.

Recipe Rating

  • (1 Rating)

Ingredients

  • for the sauce

  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil - 50gr

  • Anchovies - 15gr

  • "Suited garlic”cloves - 2 [part 1 of 2]

  • Black pitted olives - 110gr

  • Salted capers - 15gr

  • do not use the pickled capers!
  • Hot water - 300ml

  • Parsley sprigs - 25gr

  • Plum tomatoes - 600gr

  • in alternative, use canned plum tomatoes or similar
  • Fresh Red Chilli Peppers - 2

  • in alternative, use dry
  • "Suited garlic”cloves - 1 [part 1 of 2]

  • Salt - to taste (as anchovies and capers are salted already)

  • for the pasta

  • Spaghetti - 320gr

  • in alternative, linguine or vermicelli
  • Water - 5lt

  • Salt - 50gr

Instructions

  • 1.
    Putting the water to boil

    • Water - 5lt

      Put the water for pasta to boil on a high power heat: you will salt it later when it will come to a stable boil (step 1 - pic. A).
      Also, you will use this same water for peeling the plum tomatoes before it starts bubbling.

  • 2.
    Slowly melting the anchovies and chopping the ingredients

    • Extra Virgin Olive Oil - 50gr
    • Anchovies - 15gr
    • Suited Garlic - 2 cloves [part 1 of 2]
    • Black pitted olives - 110gr
    • Salted capers - 15gr
    • do not use the pickled capers!

    • Hot water - 300ml

      Put the frying pan on a low power heat with the extra virgin olive oil, the anchovies and two unpeeled garlic cloves. Let the anchovies melt almost completely into the oil stirring from time to time (step 2 - pic. A).
      Thoroughly was the parsley and dry it gently with a kitchen towel. Then separate the leaves form the stalks. Tie up one third of the stalks into a small bunch with some cooking string and leave the rest aside (step 2 - pic. B).
      Put the capers into a small bowl full of hot water. Let them soak for a few minutes This will wash off the salt and also enhance their flavour (step 2 - pic. C).
      With a sharp chef knife, chop the pitted black olives in to small rings and set aside (step 2 - pic. D).
      Finely mince the capers and set aside (step 2 - pic. E).

  • 3.
    Adding the chopped olives and capers and peeling the tomatoes

    • Parsley sprigs - 25gr
    • Plum tomatoes - 600gr
    • in alternative, use canned plum tomatoes or similar

    • Salt - 50gr

      Add the capers and the chopped olives to the oil and anchovies base in the frying pan. Stir evenly and set the heat on a medium power (step 3 - pic. A).
      Finely shop the parsley stalks and set aside (step 3 - pic. B).
      With a paring knife, make a cross cut at the top end of each plum tomato. Then, just before the water in the saucepan starts boiling, drop them in the saucepan and let them soak there for one minute or two, just enough to see their skin wrinkle and detach form the flesh (step 3 - pic. C).
      Take them out with a skimmer and set aside (step 3 - pic. D).
      Salt the water and drop in the small bunch of parsley stalks (step 3 - pic. E).
      Add the chopped parsley stalks to the frying pan with the olives and stir (step 3 - pic. F).
      Peel the plum tomatoes, then deseed them and chop them roughly (step 3 - pic. G).

  • 4.
    Boiling the spaghetti

    • The boiling salted water
    • Spaghetti - 320gr

      When the water has come to a stable boiling, drop in the pasta (step 4 - pic.). Stir the pasta frequently during the first few minutes to prevent the spaghetti stick to each other.
      The spaghetti will have to be strained half a minute before being properly done “al dente”.

      Note about salt and water for pasta

      If you think you might forget to salt water before adding pasta, you can salt water right after putting it on heat. This can become a safe routine, but the commonly unknown result of this is that it will require a longer time to come to the boiling temperature of 100ºC. It would be better instead to wait for the boiling to start and then carefully add the salt. The addiction of salt at this stage causes a sudden increase of the temperature of the solution for a couple of seconds during which the water increases the bubbling and risks to pour out if the pan’s sides are not sufficiently high.

      So the right pan should be taller than its diameter and capacious enough to contain a good amount of water.

      The minimum ratio between water and pasta is 1lt every 100gr. Although, for small amount of pasta it’s better to use a fairly large and deep pan which will keep the water to temperature also after dropping the pasta in. So that’s why I prefer to use 5lt of water even just to cook a single portion of pasta.

      Another important detail of which to take care, is the right quantity of salt to add to the water. It depends on the quantity of salt the condiment for pasta is going to contain and the cooking time that pasta requires; not only on your personal taste.

      A normal dose of salt is 11-12gr per litre of water and it can be increased to a maximum of 14-15gr for those who like their food to be particularly savoury. When using ingredients which are already salty themselves, like bacon or ham, the dose can be lowered to a minimum of 9-10gr per litre of water, as well as when you know that you will bind pasta with a lot of its own cooking water.

      Keep also in mind that longer cooking time require smaller doses of salt whereas quicker cooking will need a larger dose.

  • 5.
    Adding the tomatoes and chillies to the sauce and mincing the parsley

    • The chopped plum tomatoes
    • Fresh Red Chilli Peppers - 2
    • in alternative, use dry crushed chillies

    • Suited Garlic - 2 cloves [part 2 of 2]
    • The frying pan with olives and tomatoes
    • The parsley leaves
    • Salt - to taste (as anchovies and capers are salted already)

      Chop off the chili peppers’ green stalk, halve them longwise and deseed them if you prefer to reduce their power. Then, chop them quite finely and set aside (step 5 - pic. A).
      Peel the garlic clove and grate it finely with a zester and put it aside together with the chopped chili peppers (step 5 - pic. B).
      Set the heat to the maximum power under the frying pan, add the tomatoes, the grated garlic and the chili peppers. Stir evenly and frequently so the tomato juices will reduce quickly. Taste and season with some salt if needed (step 5 - pic. C).
      Finely mince the parsley stalks and set aside (step 5 - pic. D).

  • 6.
    Straining and binding the spaghetti to the sauce

    • The sauce in the frying pan
    • The boiled spaghetti “al dente”
    • The minced parsley leaves

      Just half a minute before they are cooked through, strain the spaghetti with a pasta server directly into the frying pan, add one ladle of cooking liquor and stir evenly e constantly so the juices will reduce and coat the spaghetti. Alternatively, you can collect some cooking liquor with a small jug and strain the spaghetti through a colander, then add them to the sauce (step 6 - pic. A).
      When perfectly cooked “al dente” and well blended into the sauce, take the frying pan away from the heat and add the minced fresh parsley, stir evenly, rest for a minute , then serve (step 6 - pic. B).

      Note about the correct cooking point "al dente”

      “Al dente” literally means “to the tooth”. It indicates the perfect consistency that pasta, or any other food, should have at the end of the cooking process: not too soft and not too hard at chewing. Pasta cooked “al dente” maintains a harder consistency at the centre of the dough sheet which gives the diners a pleasant feeling of “biting” rather than “mushing” something under their teeth..

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Instructions

  • 1.
    Putting the water to boil

    • Water - 5lt

      Put the water for pasta to boil on a high power heat: you will salt it later when it will come to a stable boil (step 1 - pic. A).
      Also, you will use this same water for peeling the plum tomatoes before it starts bubbling.

  • 2.
    Slowly melting the anchovies and chopping the ingredients

    • Extra Virgin Olive Oil - 50gr
    • Anchovies - 15gr
    • Suited Garlic - 2 cloves [part 1 of 2]
    • Black pitted olives - 110gr
    • Salted capers - 15gr
    • do not use the pickled capers!

    • Hot water - 300ml

      Put the frying pan on a low power heat with the extra virgin olive oil, the anchovies and two unpeeled garlic cloves. Let the anchovies melt almost completely into the oil stirring from time to time (step 2 - pic. A).
      Thoroughly was the parsley and dry it gently with a kitchen towel. Then separate the leaves form the stalks. Tie up one third of the stalks into a small bunch with some cooking string and leave the rest aside (step 2 - pic. B).
      Put the capers into a small bowl full of hot water. Let them soak for a few minutes This will wash off the salt and also enhance their flavour (step 2 - pic. C).
      With a sharp chef knife, chop the pitted black olives in to small rings and set aside (step 2 - pic. D).
      Finely mince the capers and set aside (step 2 - pic. E).

  • 3.
    Adding the chopped olives and capers and peeling the tomatoes

    • Parsley sprigs - 25gr
    • Plum tomatoes - 600gr
    • in alternative, use canned plum tomatoes or similar

    • Salt - 50gr

      Add the capers and the chopped olives to the oil and anchovies base in the frying pan. Stir evenly and set the heat on a medium power (step 3 - pic. A).
      Finely shop the parsley stalks and set aside (step 3 - pic. B).
      With a paring knife, make a cross cut at the top end of each plum tomato. Then, just before the water in the saucepan starts boiling, drop them in the saucepan and let them soak there for one minute or two, just enough to see their skin wrinkle and detach form the flesh (step 3 - pic. C).
      Take them out with a skimmer and set aside (step 3 - pic. D).
      Salt the water and drop in the small bunch of parsley stalks (step 3 - pic. E).
      Add the chopped parsley stalks to the frying pan with the olives and stir (step 3 - pic. F).
      Peel the plum tomatoes, then deseed them and chop them roughly (step 3 - pic. G).

  • 4.
    Boiling the spaghetti

    • The boiling salted water
    • Spaghetti - 320gr

      When the water has come to a stable boiling, drop in the pasta (step 4 - pic.). Stir the pasta frequently during the first few minutes to prevent the spaghetti stick to each other.
      The spaghetti will have to be strained half a minute before being properly done “al dente”.

      Note about salt and water for pasta

      If you think you might forget to salt water before adding pasta, you can salt water right after putting it on heat. This can become a safe routine, but the commonly unknown result of this is that it will require a longer time to come to the boiling temperature of 100ºC. It would be better instead to wait for the boiling to start and then carefully add the salt. The addiction of salt at this stage causes a sudden increase of the temperature of the solution for a couple of seconds during which the water increases the bubbling and risks to pour out if the pan’s sides are not sufficiently high.

      So the right pan should be taller than its diameter and capacious enough to contain a good amount of water.

      The minimum ratio between water and pasta is 1lt every 100gr. Although, for small amount of pasta it’s better to use a fairly large and deep pan which will keep the water to temperature also after dropping the pasta in. So that’s why I prefer to use 5lt of water even just to cook a single portion of pasta.

      Another important detail of which to take care, is the right quantity of salt to add to the water. It depends on the quantity of salt the condiment for pasta is going to contain and the cooking time that pasta requires; not only on your personal taste.

      A normal dose of salt is 11-12gr per litre of water and it can be increased to a maximum of 14-15gr for those who like their food to be particularly savoury. When using ingredients which are already salty themselves, like bacon or ham, the dose can be lowered to a minimum of 9-10gr per litre of water, as well as when you know that you will bind pasta with a lot of its own cooking water.

      Keep also in mind that longer cooking time require smaller doses of salt whereas quicker cooking will need a larger dose.

  • 5.
    Adding the tomatoes and chillies to the sauce and mincing the parsley

    • The chopped plum tomatoes
    • Fresh Red Chilli Peppers - 2
    • in alternative, use dry crushed chillies

    • Suited Garlic - 2 cloves [part 2 of 2]
    • The frying pan with olives and tomatoes
    • The parsley leaves
    • Salt - to taste (as anchovies and capers are salted already)

      Chop off the chili peppers’ green stalk, halve them longwise and deseed them if you prefer to reduce their power. Then, chop them quite finely and set aside (step 5 - pic. A).
      Peel the garlic clove and grate it finely with a zester and put it aside together with the chopped chili peppers (step 5 - pic. B).
      Set the heat to the maximum power under the frying pan, add the tomatoes, the grated garlic and the chili peppers. Stir evenly and frequently so the tomato juices will reduce quickly. Taste and season with some salt if needed (step 5 - pic. C).
      Finely mince the parsley stalks and set aside (step 5 - pic. D).

  • 6.
    Straining and binding the spaghetti to the sauce

    • The sauce in the frying pan
    • The boiled spaghetti “al dente”
    • The minced parsley leaves

      Just half a minute before they are cooked through, strain the spaghetti with a pasta server directly into the frying pan, add one ladle of cooking liquor and stir evenly e constantly so the juices will reduce and coat the spaghetti. Alternatively, you can collect some cooking liquor with a small jug and strain the spaghetti through a colander, then add them to the sauce (step 6 - pic. A).
      When perfectly cooked “al dente” and well blended into the sauce, take the frying pan away from the heat and add the minced fresh parsley, stir evenly, rest for a minute , then serve (step 6 - pic. B).

      Note about the correct cooking point "al dente”

      “Al dente” literally means “to the tooth”. It indicates the perfect consistency that pasta, or any other food, should have at the end of the cooking process: not too soft and not too hard at chewing. Pasta cooked “al dente” maintains a harder consistency at the centre of the dough sheet which gives the diners a pleasant feeling of “biting” rather than “mushing” something under their teeth..

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"Spaghetti alla Puttanesca" recipe - "Strumpet's way Spaghetti"
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