It is said that this sauce only became popular in the 1960s and was invented by a chef on the island of Ischia sometime before WW II. I find it hard to believe that it took so long for this dish to become popular because it is a natural progression from the southern Italian love of garlic, chili, black olives and anchovies with chopped tomatoes.
I am glad it was developed because Diane asked me what pasta dish she could make for me and that was the first one that came to mind. I love that southern Italian/Sicilian combination of those ingredients with tuna flakes being added and chopped capers–delicious!
Diane began the meal with a little plate of antipasto pieces: baby preserved mushrooms, her own cracked pitted olives, a few dried market olives and two narrow slices of parmiginno.
Then the main course was spaghetti puttanesca. The sauce is a natural southern Italian sauce with area variations; the Sicilians leave out the anchovies.
As a beverage we enjoyed two glasses of Houghton’s Cabernet Savignon; a little strong for my taste but it is a ’12 vintage so it might smoothen out over time.