Italian Cooking - Orangy Roughy Puttanesca and Pasta
Puttanesca Sauce with Fish
Said to be named after prostitutes in and around Naples, Italy who had little time for meals between clients, the name Puttanesca is often disguised in "polite" society.
Many Italian restaurants refer to this dish on their menus as the mild mannered Pasta Alla Bella Donna, as does Italian Sensation restaurant in Maryland. They describe their dish as Spaghettini in marinara sauce with black olives, capers, and anchovies.
The thin spaghetti cooks very quickly, indeed. In fact, if you microwave this pasta, only about 4 minutes are required – It’s almost faster than Ramen noodles. Perhaps it is the equivalent of Ramen in Italian cuisine history.
Some older Italian and Sicilian Immigrants have told stories about the restaurants in the old country that kept a pot of pasta sauce, which they called gravy, on the stove all day long. At the end of the evening, the restaurant owners would give the sauce to the prostitutes for a quick and inexpensive pasta meal. Zucchini was often in the sauce in those times and one version of Spaghetti alla Puttanesca still includes tuna.
In college, I used to make macaroni and cheese with tomatoes, tuna, and onions, and sometimes black olives - and had no idea how close to this traditional dish I was steering. The truth in good food may come out in its own version in various cultures around the world.
Naples Area, Italy
This is a deep sea fish that has reduced in numbers somewhat worldwide.It was regularly called a "slimehead" until the 1970s, wh it was renamed to encourage fishing. How is it on th edge of being over-fished. However, this fish may live up to nearly 150 years.It looks a bit prehistoric.
Orange Roughy Puttanesca Recipe
- 1 Lb skinless orange roughly fillets or your favorite type of white fish. If frozen, thaw it.
- 1 tsp crushed oregano – fresh if you have it
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 4 Plum tomatoes, chopped
- 1 Medium onion, cut into 8ths (cut quarters in two)
- ¼ Cup sliced black olives – Italian if you can get them
- ¼ Cup chicken or vegetable broth
- 1 Tbsp capers
- 2-3 Cloves garlic, minced
- Hot cooked orzo (pasta)
- Rinse fish well and then pat fillets with paper toweling to remove excess moisture. Cut the fish into four portions and sprinkle each with half of the oregano and half of the pepper on one side only.
- Using a large skillet over medium heat, warm the olive oil and then carefully place in the fish with the seasoned sides down.
- Cook 2 minutes, turning after about 70 seconds.
- Add tomatoes, onions, olives, broth, capers, garlic, and the rest of the oregano and pepper and stir.
- Bring the skillet to the boil and immediately reduce heat to low.
- Simmer 5-6 minutes or just until fish becomes flakey to the touch of a fork.
- With a slotted spoon, place each fish portion onto a large serving dish.
- Boil t4h skillet broth uncovered, for approximately 2 minutes until thickened.
- Pour contents of skillet over the fish portions and serve with hot cooked pasta.
A firm-fleshed fish with a mild flavor.
- Prep time: 25 min
- Cook time: 10 min
- Ready in: 35 min
- Yields: 2 to 4 Servings
Twenty-five percent of the olives grown in the world are grown in Italy.
Spaghetti alla Puttanesca
Serves 2 to 4 people
After chopping vegetables, this dish takes less than 10 minutes to prepare.
- 4 Cloves garlic, minced
- 2 Medium onions, chopped fine
- 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
- 1/4 Cup olive oil
- 1/4 Cup minced parsley leaves
- 1 Pound Italian tomatoes, chopped, with the juice
- 4 Anchovy fillets, drained and chopped
- 6 Mediterranean black olives, chopped
- 2 tsp prepared capers
- 8 oz spaghettini or thin spaghetti – this is very quick cooking
- 2 Tbsp grated Romano cheese
- In a large skillet over medium heat, add olive oil and warm it.
- Add garlic and the red pepper flakes and stir 20 seconds
- Add parsley and stir for 10 seconds.
- Add tomatoes and juice, stir, and cook 1 minute.
- Add anchovies, olives, and capers, stir and cook 2 minutes.
- Salt a pot of water for pasta very well over medium high heat.
- Cook spaghettini al dente (just a few minutes), drain, and place in a large serving dish.
- Add sauce and toss.
- Sprinkle the surface of the spaghetti with grated Romano. [Some italian immigrants relate that chopped parsley should be used in place fo the cheese, but you can do it either way.]
Spaghetti alla Puttanesca Sauce and Pasta
|Serving size: 1/4 Recipe|
|Calories from Fat||90|
|% Daily Value *|
|Fat 10 g||15%|
|Saturated fat 2 g||10%|
|Unsaturated fat 4 g|
|Carbohydrates 6 g||2%|
|Fiber 2 g||8%|
|Protein 2 g||4%|
|Cholesterol 4 mg||1%|
|Sodium 240 mg||10%|
|* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.|
Additional Italian Recipes
- Italian Christmas: Feast of the Seven Fishes
The feasts of Italy and Sicily are full of good food and tradition. Here is one of them for Christmas that you might enjoy in other seasons as well.
- Italian Sausage Lasagna with Roasted Garlic
Try this sausage lasagna recipe to add some zip to to favorite standard dish. Spicy hot sausage is also a treat! A free coloring page is included.
- Priest Strangler Noodles - Strangozzi
I was unfamiliar with strangozzi noodles until I read this question on HubPages. Quizzing a friend that is half Italian and makes her own pasta, I learned that the strangozzi noodle is also sometimes called the priest strangler.The origin of that...
- Southern Italian Flavors Can Spice Up Christmas
Have you ever heard of chocolate diamonds? These chocolate spice cookies can be cut into diamond shapes instead of rolled into Christmas cookie balls.
More by this Author
Anthony Bourdain has hosted a series of gourmet travel shows on a variety of cable networks. He has eaten unusual foods around the world and with more style than some host that just eat gross things with a smug...
The feasts of Italy and Sicily are full of good food and tradition. Here is one recipe form my collection of them for Christmas that you might enjoy in other seasons as well.
After writing resumes, cover letters, and job applications, candidates hope to interview well, impress the hiring officer, and secure the job. Here's what to avoid saying during the interview.