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Home cooked meal ideas: Shrimp Putanesca

Dec 09

Chef Sandy Daza shared his home cooked meals at The Maya Kitchen recently. I already shared the Shepherd’s Pie. This time , let me share Shrimp Putanesca. I am always amused whenever I announce that I am going to cook Pasta Puttanesca. The pasta literally means “whore’s spaghetti” in Italian. It has a distinct spicy taste and pungent aroma. This vegetarian pasta treat is not as heavy as the Pasta Primavera.

What makes is quite mysterious is that opinions vary on the origins of its scandalous name. According to this site ” The most elaborate is that this pasta was traditionally served in the “massage parlors” that abounded in Naples, and was an economical, easy and fast sauce to make and serve to the men, keeping them happy and occupied while they waited their turn. Another explanation is that the piquant aroma served as advertising, attracting clients in off the street. Yet another and most common theory is that the name refers to the hot, spicy, frisky flavor and smell.”

Whatever the origins, the dish does not taste cheap at all. In fact, it is a favorite dish to prepare for parties. Put on that apron, take out the pan and cook away.

Here is the recipe:

¼ cup olive oil
3 tablespoons chopped garlic
¾ cup chopped onions
6 anchovies filets / ¼ kilo shrimp, shelled
1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
2 chicken cubes
2 14 ounce cans, canned chopped tomatoes
¾ cup olives
1/2 cup capers
½ teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 teaspoon salt
parmesan cheese
300 grams spaghetti noodles, cooked according to package directions


1. Sauté garlic and onions in olive oil. Add anchovies & shrimp and simmer.

2. Add the Italian seasoning, chicken cubes, canned tomatoes and capers.

3. Taste and season if needed. Add olives last.

4. Mix pasta in and toss well. Serve with toasted bread.

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Noemi Lardizabal-Dado (390 Posts)

Noemi, Editor of Blog Watch and features editor of Philippine Online Chronicles is a 55 year old mother to three kids and is married to Atty. Luis H. Dado. She loves being a full time mother and homemaker after retiring as a Researcher/Consultant from the UP Institute for Small Scale Industries in 1987. Now that her children are all college graduates, she devotes her time to grief support, blogging, new media events and using her blogs to promote online advocacies. Her personal blog is at, which garnered numerous awards such as Best Website, Blog Category during the 9th and 10th Philippine Web Awards. Her blog also won in the Blog- Personal Category of the Web Awards 2007 and Globelines Broadband Family Blog Award (in honor of family-oriented blogging) 2007 Philippine Blog Award. Globe also recognized her as Digital Elder in the 2009 Philippine Blog Award.

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