Dalla Cucina di Laura~
Polenta alla Puttanesca – (in the style of the prostitute)
Puttanesca sauce. How did it get its colorful name? There are many stories about this spicy/salty sauce, but here is my naughty favorite:
It begins with the fact that puttanesca is derived from the Italian word puttana, a colloquial term for prostitute.
Puttanesca was a simple sauce that could easily be created by the business savvy ladies of the night in between “appointments”. The robust aromas of the intense, simmering sauce would lure men off the streets and in to their brothels.
Clients found a “two for the price of one” deal- a smoking-hot spaghetti dish and a sensual siren for dessert! Guaranteed to please every aspect of the male appetite.
Though the risqué etymology of this gastronomic gem cannot be confirmed, there is one thing everyone can agree on… It is delicious!!!
So throw your passion into the pot with wild abandon! This is an incredibly intense sauce! Serve in stilettos and thigh highs for fifty shades of culinary curiosity.
This dish pairs best with a sexy salad, robust red wine, and a feisty Italian female.
Grab your gusto, channel your seductive side and lure your lover into your lair.
Sunday dinner will never be the same.
Polenta alla Puttanesca ingredients:
· Organic pre-cooked polenta
· 4-5 tablespoons imported extra-virgin olive oil
· 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
· 8 anchovy fillets packed in oil
· 3 tablespoons organic tomato paste
· 1 (28-ounce) can of drained San Marzano whole peeled tomatoes
· ½ cup Italian blend olives, pitted
· ¼ cup drained and rinsed capers
· Sea salt, pepper and pepperoncini (crushed red pepper flakes) to taste
· 2-3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
· Pinch or two of oregano
· Freshly grated parmigiano-reggiano
· Zest of 1 lemon
· Whole basil leaves for garnish
· In a large sauce pan add 2 tablespoons oil, chopped garlic and anchovies. Simmer over medium heat for about 3-5 minutes. Blend in tomato paste, then canned tomatoes. Season lightly with salt and pepper and pepperoncini.
· Stir in oregano, basil, olives and capers, simmering and stirring occasionally, until it thickens, about 30 minutes. May add water if too thick.
· Meanwhile, slice the room temperature pre-cooked polenta into one inch discs. Brush each side with butter and place on cookie sheet. Broil on High until each side is browned.
· Break up whole tomatoes in sauce with a spatula or fork. Remove sauce from stove, fold in lemon zest and place over polenta.
· Top with parmigiano reggiano cheese and fresh whole basil leaves.
Buon Appetito Amore!
*Notes on Variations:
The Neapolitan variation, spaghetti alla partenopea, is made with anchovies and generous amounts of oregano. Spaghetti alla siciliana includes the addition of green peppers, while another Sicilian variation from Palermo includes olives, anchovies and raisins.
This dish typically does not include meat. However, beef/veal/pork sausage or ground chicken can easily be added.