Monday, 24 June 2013

Chicken Puttanesca

This aromatic and tasty dish has a history as colorful as its flavor and according to culinary history is said to have originated in Naples. Literally translated, puttanesca means "in the style of the whore". The explanation that was given to me from the women in my family was that the puttanas or whores of Naples put together this vibrant sauce to lure and seduce hungry men from the street into their bedrooms!

Whatever the truth is about this dish it includes some of my favorite ingredients. Olives, anchovies, capers and tomatoes. It is quick and easy to make and the aroma is intoxicating. Anchovies may not be your thing but believe me these little salty fish are what make the meal what it is ... light, salty, sweet and seductive. xxx

Serves 6


1/4 cup olive oil
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 small red chilli, seeds removed and finely chopped
8 large vine-ripened tomatoes, roughly chopped
3/4 cup Kalamata olives
8 anchovy fillets, drained and roughly chopped
1 and 1/2 tablespoons small capers
1/2 cup flat-leaf parsley leaves, roughly chopped
1/2 cup small basil leaves
6 chicken legs, skin removed
500g spaghetti


Heat a little of the oil in a large fry pan over medium heat and fry the chicken legs till they are just golden on the outside. Then set aside.

Add the remainder of the oil to the same pan on medium heat and fry the garlic and chilli. Stir for about 1 minute and then add the tomatoes. Cook for about 5 minutes stirring gently.

Now add the olives, anchovies and capers and cook for 2 minutes before placing the chicken legs back into the pan. Reduce to low heat and cover the pan with foil or a lid if you have one and cook for about 15 to 20 minutes.

While this delicious sauce is cooking bring a large pot of water to the boil, add a pinch of salt and cook the spaghetti as per the packet instructions.

When the chicken is cooked through, remove it from the pan and place onto your individual serving plates.  Drain the spaghetti and gently toss it through the sauce, then serve.

With every bite I guarantee you will be in pasta heaven.