Recipe: Cavatelli alla puttanesca

This is a dish that was joyfully cooked and consumed in BEACHOUSE Ibiza head chef Sebastian Altimari’s childhood home. It’s a classic Italian pasta dish that has a contested origin (puttana means whore in Italian), however, the majority of people now refer to the story of chef Sandro Petti, a restaurateur on the small Italian island of Ischia. One night in the late 1950s he was closing up shop when four hungry customers convinced him to feed them. On telling them he had nothing left they said, “Facci una puttanata qualsiasi,” which roughly translates as “Make us any old rubbish”. In the kitchen he found olives, capers and tomatoes and an Italian classic was born. The BEACHOUSE Ibiza version uses fresh cavatelli pasta as it holds the sauce well and lets the flavours penetrate deep into the shells.

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 500g of fresh cavatelli (if unavailable use any fresh pasta, the best you can find)
  • Olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced or minced
  • 1 onion
  • 2 tablespoon capers
  • 4 fresh tomatoes, chopped
  • 200ml tomato passata
  • 100g good quality green olives, stoned and roughly chopped
  • 8 anchovies
  • 1 teaspoon of chilli flakes or fresh minced chilli
  • 1 handful of parsley
  • 1 handful of basil

Method

  • Put a large pan of salted water on to boil. When boiling add pasta and cook until al dente (around 8-10 minutes).
  • Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large pan on medium to low heat. Cook the garlic very gently until just beginning to colour, add the anchovies and stir until they dissolve. Add chilli flakes, olives and capers and turn up the heat a bit until you can hear them start to sizzle.
  • Add the passata and the tomatoes, stir in well and cook for around 10 minutes (or until the pasta is ready).
  • Drain the pasta and tip into the pan with the sauce. Mix well.
  • Serve topped with a scattering of roughly torn basil and parsley.