Origin of The Puttanesca Pasta
The legend of Puttanesca pasta swirls with the vibrant energy of Naples, Italy's culinary heartbeat. While its precise origins remain shrouded in the bustling alleyways and laughter-filled trattorias of the historic port city, one thing is certain – this is a dish born of resourcefulness and a deep love for bold flavors. The name itself holds a hint of spice, with some attributing it to the "femmes aux mœurs légères" who frequented the city's brothels and, according to lore, whipped up this quick and flavorful meal from pantry staples. Others believe it reflects the "puttanesca" technique, where ingredients are "whored" (puttana) out, transformed into something far greater than their humble beginnings.
What Type of Pasta Should Be Used for Puttanesca Pasta?
- Spaghetti: The traditional choice, it offers a nice surface area for the sauce to cling to.
- Linguine: Similar to spaghetti, but with a flatter, wider strand that captures even more sauce.
- Bucatini: Hollow, tube-shaped pasta that allows the sauce to fill its interior for extra flavor in every bite.
- Fettuccine: These broader noodles provide a luxurious platform for the vibrant sauce.
- Penne: Fun and bite-sized, penne offers a playful presentation and holds the sauce well.
- Fusilli: The spiral shape of fusilli traps the sauce in its twists and turns for a textural delight.
- Farfalle (Bow Tie): These charming little bows look adorable and cradle the sauce beautifully.
Ultimately, the best pasta for Puttanesca is the one you enjoy the most! So experiment, have fun, and let your personal taste guide the way. Remember, Puttanesca is all about bold flavors and simple pleasure, so don't be afraid to break the mold and try something new. You might just discover your new favorite way to enjoy this classic Italian dish!
No matter what pasta you choose, be sure to cook it according to package instructions and reserve a splash of the pasta water before draining. This starchy water adds body and creaminess to the sauce, making it even more irresistible.
What To Serve with Puttanesca Pasta?
Here are our delicious recipes that you can serve with Puttanesca Pasta:
Wine & Dine
Choosing the perfect wine for Pasta Puttanesca requires navigating the bold and sometimes spicy flavors of the dish. Here are some recommendations that will complement the symphony of tastes in your Puttanesca:
Sangiovese: This Italian classic pairs beautifully with the vibrant acidity of the tomatoes and the salty olives. Look for a Chianti or Rosso di Montalcino with medium body and bright fruit notes.
Nero d'Avola: Another Italian grape, Nero d'Avola offers bolder tannins and richer fruit that can stand up to the anchovies and chili flakes. Opt for a wine from Sicily for a perfect regional pairing.
Grenache: This versatile grape thrives in warmer climates and produces wines with juicy berry fruits and a touch of peppery spice. A Grenache from Spain or Southern France will add a playful counterpoint to the Puttanesca's boldness.
Falanghina: This southern Italian grape produces wines with floral aromas, citrusy acidity, and a hint of minerality. It's a refreshing choice that cuts through the richness of the sauce and brightens the palate.
Vermentino: Another Italian white, Vermentino offers crisp acidity and herbal notes that complement the olives and capers. Look for a Vermentino from Sardinia or Tuscany for a delightful pairing.
Rosé: Don't underestimate the versatility of rosé! A dry rosé with good acidity can stand up to the savory notes of the Puttanesca while offering a light and refreshing counterpoint. Opt for a Provençal rosé from France or a Sangiovese rosé from Italy.
Bonus Tip: If you're unsure, opt for a wine from the same region as your chosen pasta. This often creates a harmonious pairing due to the shared culinary traditions and climate conditions.