Hey Beautiful! We’re continuing our Italian streak today on the blog with this full on fantastic and sophisticated meal of Spicy Puttanesca with White Fish and Farro. When I fist made this recipe it wasn’t intended for the blog, but is was so incredibly delicious I knew had to share it!
Puttanesca originated in Naples, Italy and the stories of its origins are…..highly entertaining. In reading about this famous sauce I came across several translations of the word, the most genteel of which reads: “lady of the night“. That’s right – Puttanesca literally means ‘prostitute‘.
(Fun fact – I Googled “synonyms for hooker” while writing this post ha!)
There are different variations of the story of why this dish was so popular among those Italian harlots: (<—– Thank you, Google)
- It’s quick and easy and could be made between ‘appointments’
- They needed something to feed their waiting clientele
- Its pungent aroma was so strong that it would lure men in from the streets
While this Puttanesca didn’t have men knocking on my door, the gorgeous aroma did waft out into the hallway and probably made my neighbors jealous. Briny, salty, garlicky – it’s got it all and it’s fantastic. Don’t be turned off by the anchovies if you’re not a fan. They melt into the sauce and give it an incredible layer of flavour you just won’t achieve by omitting them. I’ve made this twice now with fish (I use Cod but any flaky white fish would be delicious – haddock, halibut) but if you wanted to omit it, I wouldn’t be opposed to stirring in some white cannellini beans for extra protein. It’s super quick and healthy, too – suitable for a midweek dinner or weekend dinner party! <—– the best kind of recipe!
This dish is traditionally served over pasta, but I went with my go-to fave Farro – quinoa would be a great sub, too. And don’t forget the bread – you need something to soak up this incredible sauce.
This recipe was inspired by this great one from Food Network!
Briny, salty depth of flavour shine in this simple, healthy, sophisticated dinner.
- 1 Tbsp Olive Oil
- 3 Cloves of Garlic, finely minced
- 4 Anchovy Fillets, finely minced
- 28oz Can Peeled Tomatoes, San Marzano are best
- 1/2 Cup Water
- 1 Tbsp Dried Oregano
- 1 Tbsp Dried Basil
- 1/2 Cup pitted and halved Kalamata Olives
- 2 Tbsp Capers
- 10 Jarred Artichoke Quarters
- 1/4 Tsp Red Pepper Flakes, or more to your liking
- 2 Cod Fillets
- 2 Cups Cooked Farro, for serving
- Baguette, for serving
- Preheat your oven to 400.
- Add the oil to an oven safe skillet and heat over medium. Add the garlic and anchovies and cook, stirring often, until fragrant and softened, about 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes and water and bring to a boil. Simmer 15 minutes until mixture has reduced and thickened, stirring occasionally and crushing the tomatoes with the back of a wooden spoon.
- While dish is simmering, make the farro according to package directions.
- Stir in the oregano, basil, olives, capers, artichokes and red pepper flakes and simmer while you prepare the fish.
- Remove fish from fridge and rinse. Dry off with paper towels and season with pepper and (lightly) with salt. Nestle the fish into the center of the sauce in the skillet and transfer to the oven.
- Cook until the fish is opaque, about 8 minutes.
- To serve, spoon the farro into the bottom of a serving dish, top with Puttanesca sauce and cod. Sprinkle with fresh basil, if desired. Serve alongside toasted baguette.
If you don't have an oven safe skillet, simply make this in a regular skillet and transfer to a glass baking dish before adding the fish fillets, then bake.