Party Girl Diet Pasta Puttanesca

Try Pasta Puttanesca – known in some circles as “Harlot’s Pasta” this is a dish with a colorful past.

This Pasta Pasta Puttanesca is a classic, easy to prepare and serve Italian dish which originated in Naples, Italy. There are as many interesting stories surrounding the history of this hot and spicy dish as there are ingredients in it.

One explanation for the name is that the sauce has a spicy, hot flavor and aroma.

Another explanation is that supposedly this pasta was made back in the day in “massage parlors” and brothels, because it was a cheap meal that could be made quickly to keep men happy while they “waited their turn.” Other stories also say the harlots would place a freshly cooked batch of this dish on their window sills to attract new customers…

And yet another version of the story says that it bears the reference to the “ladies of the night” because they would make this dish for themselves after a hard day/night at work as it was quick, easy, and delicious and utilized many ingredients they had readily available in the fridge or pantry.

All suggestive and flagrant beginnings aside – Pasta Puttanesca is a colorful dish that is virtually loaded with ingredients known for their health enhancing properties.  Pasta Puttanesca is traditionally made with extra-virgin olive oil, garlic, tomatoes peperonicino (crushed red pepper flakes), anchovies, capers and black olives.

Healthy, quick, and sinfully delicious, Pasta Puttanesca is also easy on wallet and on the eyes…some may consider this combination – the perfect dish.  Go ahead, try it tonight and see what what you think – Enjoy!


  • 1/2 lb. pasta – go for whole wheat varieties for added health benefits
  • 1/4 cup olive oil – organic, first cold press
  • 1 tin anchovy, drained, or 1 can white albacore tuna, drained
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 3 tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp chili flakes
  • 2 tbs capers
  • 1 handful black olives, kalamata olives, or 1 handful green olives, or mixed
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan Cheese (optional)
  • Sprinkle of sea salt and a few grinds of fresh ground black pepper to taste


  1. Put the pasta on to cook.
  2. Heat the oil in a saucepan over medium-high heat and add the fish and garlic.
  3. Stir until the fish has fallen apart. Add the tomatoes, chili flakes, capers and olives, reduce the heat to medium and cook for 5-6 minutes, until the tomatoes start to collapse.
  4. Season with sea salt and fresh ground pepper – and serve over the cooked pasta.  Top with grated Parmesan Cheese, and serve with a large green salad – Enjoy!

Yields 4 Servings

Aprilanne Hurley SFN, CLFC is a Certified Specialist in Fitness Nutrition, Certified Lifestyle Fitness Coach, author of  The Party Girl Diet, and series creator & host of California Living, the California’s longstanding lifestyle TV magazine show featuring California’s trends in food, travel, and healthy living. Hurley’s book, The Party Girl Diet is a healthy, sustainable lifestyle plan combining today’s groundbreaking health and nutrition research with Hurley’s penchant for good living to deliver game-changing diet and lifestyle that lets you “keep the party going…while you lose the weight.”


Puttanesca Recipe was featured in Party Girl Diet Author Aprilanne Hurley’s “Back to School Nutrition” Segment on ABC News 10′s SAC & Co Morning Show.

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One Response to “Pasta Puttanesca: An easy dish with a spicy past”

  1. [...] Party Girl Diet’s version of Pasta Puttanesca can be found on ~ Enjoy and “keep the party [...]

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