Tuesday, February 24, 2009

What Did You Just Call Me!? La Puttanesca aka Pasta alla Roxanne

So yes, I am stealing from The Police for my title. (And I don't care if it's wrong or if it's right).

What an awful name for sauce: "la puttanesca," which means "lady of the night" or "hooker" (I fear blogger and Foodbuzz would object to a more literal translation). According to one story, the name purportedly comes from the fact that the intense fragrance of this sauce was like a siren's call to the men who visited such "ladies of pleasure." There are many amusing variations to story of the puttanesca sauce's origins.

I must admit that I am varying a bit from the traditional recipe, but to me, pasta with olives and tomatoes always reminds me of this racy sauce.

My Ingredients (as they do not comprise a traditional recipe, but do comprise a yummy one):

1 recipe oven roasted tomatoes
1 cup ricotta cheese
1/2 cup pitted & chopped Kalamata (black) olives
2 teaspoons dried basil (if using fresh, use 1/4 cup)
1 teaspoon dried parsley (if using fresh use 2 tablespoons)
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
1 lb pasta (I like to use something like fettuccine or linguine)

Heat up 2 tablespoon olive oil in large saute pan over medium high heat. Add minced garlic and turn to medium, stirring so that garlic does not brown (take off heat if it starts to brown). Add red pepper flakes and spices(if using fresh herbs, mince and add with olive pieces). Cook about 5 minutes. Add oven roasted tomatoes and balsamic and cook 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in olive pieces.

Cook pasta per directions. Drain and toss with remaining olive oil and ricotta cheese. Stir in tomato mixture and serve.


  1. I love the addition of ricotta! I can already imagine the more creamy texture.

  2. Ricotta....interesting. I love some puttanesca!

  3. Puttanesca is one of my all time favorite dishes. No wonder it was used as a siren's call!

  4. I'm thinking this would bring out the vixen in all of us! Be still my heart!

  5. Ah the puttanesca, my husband's favorite. I love your take on this dish. The addition of the ricotta is marvelous!

    ;) amy

  6. puuuutanesca,, you don't have to wear that dress tonight.

  7. This is one of my favorites. Yours looks fantastic. I haven't had breakfast yet and I am drooling!

  8. I like the idea of using Ricotta - the creaminess would balance the heat of the chillies very nicely.


Tried my recipe? Please let me know how it turned out for you! Be honest (and kind!)