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Puttanesca Sauce

The name of this sauce actually gives a chuckle to some, but it was named as such.  "Puttana" in Italian means whore.  So why is this sauce called a whore?  Because at the end of the evening, the prostitutes would come begging at local restaurants for leftovers.  This sauce was made of all leftover ingredients.  So basically, it can contain anything, the Italians NEVER throw away anything, and if there was sauce on the stove, anything that may be going bad was put into the simmering sauce.  There are many variations of puttanesca sauce, but this is the most basic/common recipe for puttunesca, though the ingredients will vary according to region and what is on hand and "leftover".

Start with Basic Marinara Sauce - and then add in while cooking: pitted and sliced Gaeta or black Olives; capers; crushed pepper flakes; anchovies; basil; oregano and/or parsley and simmer with the sauce that is cooking. This was traditionally served over the most common pasta they had, spaghetti, but any pasta will do.

The fact is, that the Italians and Sicilians have really never known real prejudice becuase they are so religious and know that this is not Christ's way.   While some Americanized Italians may be like that of Archie Bunker, the true Italians would help any one in need even if it meant taking food or clothes off their back to give to others.  I have experienced this first hand, and even in this country, I will never forget the time that we were in a restaurant in the Village of Manhattan owned by Sicilians from over seas.  I forget the name as it was several years ago, but there was a homeless man that came into the quiet restaurant begging for food.  The host asked him to wait outside while they got some food for him.  Another lady soon came out with a half a loaf of bread, some pasta and probably something else, but I can assure you it was enough to feed 2 or 3 people.  It would have been amusing if it was in fact puttanesca sauce, but something tells me that it was probably something even better. 


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