Fusilli Col Buco translates to corkscrew pasta. Fusilli col buco is considered to be an artisan pasta and it can be used in place of capellini, spaghetti or linguini.
The word putanesca refers to harlot, prostitute or hooker's pasta. The story I first learned, is that Putanesca was a quick pasta entree that was made by wives who were fooling around with guys at bars while the man was at sea fishing. Fishing village wives that were out galavanting and cavorting, quickly cooked this pasta for her fisherman who returned from sea unexpectedly. Other stories say that putanesca was a low price pasta entree that chefs cooked for hookers just before dawn, after the evening prostitution business was done.
When I apprenticed in Italian kitchens, this is how putanesca was made. Putanesca is an olive oil sauce pasta and not a tomato sauce pasta. In recent years, I have seen tomato sauce versions of this recipe that are not quite as authentic. The original Putanesca has no tomato in the recipe. Putanesca was made with less costly non perishable ingredients that were on hand. Tomato sauce takes hours to cook and it is not always available in a kitchen during the wee hours of the morning, when hookers punch their time cards.
Use a generous amount of your best olive oil when making this pasta! Greek kalamata olives do not have the correct flavor profile for most Italian recipes. Ripe black olives or Italian oil cured olives are a better choice for making putanesca. Garlic is usually sliced, instead of being chopped for olive oil sauce pastas.
As a prank played on the ignorance of customers, I once serve pasta putanesca on Christmas Eve at a trendy French cafe in Florida as a lunch special du jour. None of the customers knew what putanesca meant. The Italian barmaid at the cafe sure knew what putanesca meant and she really got a kick out of my choice of special du jour. I figured that the cafe customers would want lighter fare, because Christmas eve is a big night for heavy family dinners in restaurants and at home. The pasta putanesca was the best selling item for lunch that day. Every customer liked this light pasta and because it was Florida, most of the customers were retirement age. The Italian barmaid came back in the kitchen laughing hysterically and said to me, "I have never seen so many old hookers eating pasta putanesca in my entire life!" Ha Ha Ha!
Fusilli Col Buco Putanesca:
Anchovy was once used like salt in Italy. It is usually not necessary to add salt to a sauce that has anchovy in the list of ingredients. Use your judgement when tasting, to see if the pasta needs a pinch of salt or not!
Wait to start the sauce, till the pasta is about 5 minutes away from being cooked al dente!
Cook 1 portion of fusilli col buco pasta in boiling water, till it becomes al dente. The sauce can be made while the pasta cooks!
Heat a saute pan over medium/medium low heat.
Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil.
Add 3 garlic cloves that are thin sliced.
Saute the garlic, till it becomes a light golden brown color.
Reduce the temperature to very low heat.
Add 2 to 3 chopped anchovy filets.
Add 8 to 10 pitted ripe black olives that are cut in half.
Add 1 pinch of oregano.
Add black pepper.
Add 6 to 8 capers.
Note: Remove the sauce from the heat, if the pasta is not finished cooking. Reheat the sauce when the pasta is ready.
When the pasta is cooked al dente, set the sauce back on the heat.
Drain the water off of the pasta.
Add the pasta to the sauce.
Add 3 pinches of coarsely chopped Italian parsley.
Add 1 teaspoon of virgin olive oil.
Toss the sauce and pasta together.
Mound the pasta on a plate.
Garnish with Italian parsley sprigs.
Serve with grated parmesan cheese on the side.
Pasta putanesca the way it was traditionally made! Ciao Baby! ... Shawna