ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Italian Cooking - Orangy Roughy Puttanesca and Pasta

Updated on August 30, 2014
The islet of Nisida near Naples, Italy.
The islet of Nisida near Naples, Italy. | Source

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

Actually, the fish is orange only after death. Living, it is brick red..
Actually, the fish is orange only after death. Living, it is brick red.. | Source

Orange Roughy

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 suace with zucchini added.
A suace with zucchini added. | Source

Orzo Pasta

Compared to a United States Quarter for size. This is rainbow, or multicolored, orzo.
Compared to a United States Quarter for size. This is rainbow, or multicolored, orzo.

Cook Time

Prep time: 25 min
Cook time: 10 min
Ready in: 35 min
Yields: 2 to 4 Servings
5 stars from 1 rating of Spaghetti alla Puttanesca

Italian Olives

Boscoli Olive Salad, 32 oz
Boscoli Olive Salad, 32 oz

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

Nutrition Facts
Serving size: 1/4 Recipe
Calories 280
Calories from Fat90
% Daily Value *
Fat 10 g15%
Saturated fat 2 g10%
Unsaturated fat 4 g
Carbohydrates 6 g2%
Fiber 2 g8%
Protein 2 g4%
Cholesterol 4 mg1%
Sodium 240 mg10%
* 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.
Black, or ripe, olives.
Black, or ripe, olives.

Comments and Experiences

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • Ekuaze Godfrey profile image

      Ekuaze Godfrey 

      9 years ago

      great it is good ingredeint i love them all

    • Sandyspider profile image

      Sandy Mertens 

      9 years ago from Wisconsin, USA

      This looks yummy!

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile imageAUTHOR

      Patty Inglish MS 

      9 years ago from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation

      Now I have to go make some :)

    • RedElf profile image


      9 years ago from Canada

      I used to make something similar in my college days with either ourzo or rice, sometimes noodles. Couldn't often afford tuna (big treat), but the basic tomatoes, onions and (a few) black olives were always there.

      Thanks for the memories ;)

    • Philipo profile image


      9 years ago from Nigeria

      Very delicious I guess.

    • lisadpreston profile image


      9 years ago from Columbus, Ohio

      This sounds wonderful. I must try it. I love the history behind the dish. Interesting! thank you.

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile imageAUTHOR

      Patty Inglish MS 

      9 years ago from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation

      Thanks for the comments! - Try these dishes during the holidays when you are pressed for time. I have to go get some olives!

    • motricio profile image

      Mauricio Rodriguez 

      9 years ago from Bogota DC, Colombia

      Thnx for the recipe! i love Italian food! =)

    • Hello, hello, profile image

      Hello, hello, 

      9 years ago from London, UK

      Thank you for another recipe to make a difference in the cooking.

    • alekhouse profile image

      Nancy Hinchliff 

      9 years ago from Essex Junction, Vermont

      Sounds great, Patty. I love orzo....although I've never had colored orzo. I've never even seen it.

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile imageAUTHOR

      Patty Inglish MS 

      9 years ago from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation

      These are delicious, too. And I still like the tuna added. Thanks for all the comments!

    • Hmrjmr1 profile image


      9 years ago from Georgia, USA

      As always Patti a great recipe well presented! Love the story that goes with this dish!

    • kerryg profile image


      9 years ago from USA

      Yum, sounds delicious! Thank you for answering my request!

    • Bieberella profile image


      9 years ago from Pennsylvania

      Yum. Will have to give that a try.



    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)