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KCTS 9 Cooks

Spaghetti alla Puttanesca

November 8, 2014

Seattle local Fiore Pignataro shares his take on Spaghetti alla Puttanesca.

"I believe that, like learning a language, the best way to grasp a foreign kitchen is to just go there and eat.  And that is what I do wherever I go—whether it’s pomegranate juice and tahini in the streets of Cairo or grilled chorizo in a Oaxacan market or pizza, pasta, and focaccia anywhere in Italy.  Whatever the risk (and, yes, I have paid dearly for my adventuresome ways!), the reward is always greater when indulging in and comprehending the palette of another nation.  I eat and drink—and when it’s particularly memorable, I shoot a photo and even take notes.  Here’s one of my signature dishes created from those experiences -"

Spaghetti alla Puttanesca!  This quintessential Italian dish is one of my all-time favorites!  I wish I could say that my fiery Grandpa Rossetti taught me this fiery concoction, but this rendition is all mine.  I never end up using exact measurements with this recipe, so feel free to go with your whimsy.  This is Southern Italian "soul food" to me - strong flavors that pounce on the palette drawn from ubiquitous Mediterranean ingredients such as olives, capers, anchovies, and oregano.  Spaghetti alla Puttanesca means "Spaghetti of The Ladies of the Night."  There are many juicy theories on the origins of this dish.  Whatever the truth may be, this spicy, saucy dish lives up to that nickname!  Buon Appetito!

Visit Fiore's blog at 

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