CEimB: Pasta Puttanesca

by Joanne on March 18, 2010

This weeks recipe was picked by Jen of Whats Jen Cooking.  Make sure to visit her blog for the latest and greatest on this sauce.  The recipe may also be found HERE on the Food Network.  In the meantime, this is the Apple Crumbles version.


What does “Pasta Puttanesca” mean anyway?  This is what I found in an article on Helium:

The name originated in Naples after the local women of easy virtue. Pasta Puttanesca means “The way a whore would make it”.  

Let’s get one thing clear:  There are none of “THOSE” in my kitchen and I’m not one of “THEM”.  So maybe this sauce doesn’t count as a true Puttanesca sauce.  One key component to Puttanesca sauce is the anchovy paste just like Ellie’sDoes it still count as Puttanesca sauce if I didn’t add the anchovy paste?  How if I’m not a gal of “easy virtue”? I guess my sauce fell short because I forgot the anchovy paste and used fish sauce instead and the other is a mute point.  


My changes to this  “ lusty tomato sauce laden with bold flavors of olives, capers, red pepper flakes, and garlic. “  Now we know why Ellie describes this sauce as “lusty.


  • 2 TBS sliced black olives (not 1/2 cup)
  • 2 tsp fish sauce (not anchovy paste)
  • Added 8 oz artichoke hearts
  • Substituted 1 can FIRE Roasted diced tomatoes for one of the no-salt cans.
  • Used mostly spinach and mixed herb greens instead of arugula which I couldn’t get this past weekend at the store.

I loved this recipe. It went together 1 –  2  – 3.  No hang ups. Not a lot of clean up.  Not much preparation.  This is a really robust, bold sauce for pasta. 


I had the sauce plain at first, no pasta. It was acidic and strong.  Then I tried it with the whole wheat pasta which I mainly cooked for Ted and what a difference.  Really cool experiment because the pasta muted the heavy flavors of the sauce. 


A good sauce and I’d make this again in a blink.  Both of us enjoyed all the flavor and heartiness.


Great pick Jen!


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  • At 2010.03.18 08:36, Sarah (Running to Slow Things Down) said:

    Girl, you are a brave soul for buying raw sugar cane! haha…what a fun and unique ingredient to experiment with. 😀 I’ve heard some people make “swizzle sticks” out of it, for sweetening beverages like tea and such. But I’m really curious to see what other ideas can be used with raw sugar cane too.

    Fun! 😀
    .-= Sarah (Running to Slow Things Down)´s last blog ..Filled with G-R-E-E-N =-.

    • At 2010.03.18 08:47, Jeena said:

      Beautiful pictures Joanne, such a healthy tasty dish yum!

      • At 2010.03.18 08:58, Simply Life said:

        WOW! I love all those colors- wish i could eat that today!
        .-= Simply Life´s last blog ..Dreamy Chocolate White Chocolate Chip Cookies! =-.

        • At 2010.03.18 09:08, Dawn Hutchins said:

          I love the mix of veggies! I got a bunch of artichoke hearts and hearts of palm I need to do something with. Mmm…..
          .-= Dawn Hutchins´s last blog ..The baked oat saga continues. =-.

          • At 2010.03.18 10:11, Nicole. RD said:

            Spinach + artichoke hearts…sigh. What a dish…mmm mmm mmm!
            .-= Nicole. RD´s last blog ..Luck of the Irish! =-.

            • At 2010.03.18 10:55, Joanne said:

              Sarah: I know.. but it was cheap, only .99 so I figured I could get creative.

              Simply Life: I was a colorful and tasty dish. Go Ellie!

              Dawn: Good add ins.

              Nicole: It was good.

              • At 2010.03.18 12:40, Kalli@fitandfortysomething said:

                I always wondered what Pasta puttenesca was! I remember hearing in the Lemony Snickets movie-Unforunate Events with Jim Carrey……
                What a yummy looking din din!
                .-= Kalli@fitandfortysomething´s last blog ..TGIT =-.

                • At 2010.03.18 16:46, Joanne said:

                  Kalli: Thanks.

                  • At 2010.03.18 23:18, ShutupandRun said:

                    That pasta looks so good!

                    I got your question about the stress fracture. It was weird because I had no signs at all. I had done an 18 miler the previous weekend and was doing a tough track workout with my running group. I was really pushing it and felt a slight twinge in my foot, but nothing major. I could walk fine and it was only when I tried to run that I felt it slightly. I stayed off of it for a few days, but had a half marathon that weekend. I ran the half and felt it the whole time. By the end, I couldn’t walk at all. An MRI showed a really bad SF with lots of inflammation. For sure my stupidest move was running the half injured. I know that made it much worse. But as to your question: I really felt no pain at all until that day at the track. It came on pretty suddenly for me. If I were you, I would not run if you have pain at all. Just wait it out and if it doesn’t improve get it checked out before you do any more running. My recovery could have been much shorter if Ihad not run that race. Good luck!
                    .-= ShutupandRun´s last blog ..Review: Ryders Sunglasses =-.

                    • At 2010.03.19 05:08, Liz said:

                      Great idea with the fish sauce! I’ve been scarred by a past experience with anchovy paste and really didn’t want to use it again. I saw online a recommendation for substituting fish sauce, but I wasn’t sure how it would work for this recipe. I’m glad to know it turned out well. I’m behind again this week, but I can’t wait to try this in the next couple days – looks delicious!
                      .-= Liz´s last blog ..CEiMB: Lemon Chicken Soup with Orzo =-.

                      • At 2010.03.19 09:00, Joanne said:

                        ShutUp and Run: Thanks so much for your answer. How long did your recovery take for the sf? Weeks? Months?

                        I’ve never really injured myself before other than a temperamental hamstring. So I pay attn. to that but during the course of a long run, I get so many on again off again aches and pains I just might overlook the one that may develop like you did. I’d go absolutely ballistic if I had to be inactive for any length of time.

                        Liz: It’s a good recipe but I think I prefer the milder taste of a regular marinara

                        • At 2010.03.19 15:01, Anne @ Food Loving Polar Bear said:

                          That pasta looks DELICIOUS!
                          .-= Anne @ Food Loving Polar Bear´s last blog ..No Pictures =-.

                          • At 2010.03.19 22:52, Margaret said:

                            Beautiful Pasta. Making this weekend. Your pic helps me know what it SHOULD look like.
                            .-= Margaret´s last blog ..The Great Chocolate Chip Cookie Quest!! Part Deux!! =-.

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