Rigatoni alla Puttanesca

Here’s a classic Italian sauce, the puttanesca. It’s supposed to have anchovies, but to be honest I think it tastes better without them anyway, with a little extra olives and capers instead. It’s almost something as simple as a basic sugo to make, but it tastes more special and interesting.

Ingredients (serves 2)

  • 1 small onion
  • 5-10 capers
  • 7 black olives
  • handful of cherry tomatoes
  • 750g pelati (whole peeled plum tomatoes, canned)
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 hot pepper
  • salt
  • sugar
  • olive oil
  • 400g rigatoni (or any other kind of pasta)

Preparation (25-30 minutes)

Fill a large pot about 2/3 with water, add a handful of rock salt, and put it on the stove to boil. Drizzle a large pan with olive oil, and add the two cloves of garlic, cut into about 3 pieces each. Let the garlic cook for about 2 minutes, then chop the hot pepper as small as possible, and add it all to the pan. After another 2 minutes, add the onion (chopped into tiny pieces). Let everything sauté for about 2 minutes, then add the cherry tomatoes, chopped up small. Wait 5 minutes, then add the pelati, a little bit of salt, and a pinch of sugar. Stir everything around, let it cook for another 6 minutes or so. In the meantime, add the pasta to the water, which should be boiling by now, and stir it around every 2 minutes or so. When the tomatoes start disintegrating, mash them up. Stir everything around, then add the olives (chopped into a couple of pieces) and the capers (whole). Let the sauce cook on normal heat for another 3 or 4 minutes, then turn the heat all the way down and let it simmer until the pasta is ready. When the pasta has been cooking for about 7-8 minutes, start tasting the pasta to see if it’s cooked. When it is, strain it, and then toss it into the pan with the sauce, and turn the heat all the way up. Mix it around for about 1 minute, then serve.