Home cooked meal ideas: Shrimp Puttanesca

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.

For more information, log on to www.themayakitchen.com or [email protected].

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