The Best Italian in Manchester: A Look Behind Puttanesca

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At some time or another, chances are you’ve heard of puttanesca.  Chances also are, you have an opinion about the dish but have never tried it.  Here at Piccola, we offer the best Italian in Manchester.  Made to order, and only from the freshest ingredients, we invite you to try our spaghetti puttanesca.  However, before you do, here’s a quick look at one of the most famous yet discredited Italian dishes.


What is puttanesca?

Puttanesca is an Italian red sauce.  Known for its unique ingredients, the sauce tends to be what some call a “love-hate.” The distinct flavors come from the combination of garlic, capers, olives, and anchovies.  Traditionally served with spaghetti, puttanesca also pairs well with penne and vermicelli.


The colorful beginnings

As with anything, puttanesca comes with a story.  This one begins during World War II.  Although the exact origins are disputed, several sources will tell you that puttanesca earned its name during a time in Italy when work was hard to come by, especially for women.  Thus, the derogatory Italian word, puttana, was used in this dish as it was easily created between clients.

However, other stories claim the sauce is named after the distinct aromas which came from the Italian islands of Ischia and Procida.  It’s said that it was there on the islands that the famous restaurant Rancio Fellone ran short on needed ingredients to make a particular dish for a customer.  So instead, the few ingredients that were left in the kitchen were thrown together to create what is known as puttanesca.


One thing can’t be disputed

And that one thing is the ingredients. The base of the sauce is created from chopped tomatoes, from there, sautéed garlic and anchovies are combined with capers, olives, oregano, and red pepper flakes.  However, different regions of Italy add additional spices while others omit the anchovies.  Either way, the simmered sauce is poured over al dente pasta before being served.


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Now that you know a bit more about puttanesca, we invite you to visit us and experience the dish for yourself.  Not keen on one of the ingredients? That’s okay! Our dishes are all made to order, and we’ll be happy to customize the dish to your preference.  Hey, we didn’t earn the title of having the best Italian in Manchester by being black and white!  Visit us today or call to make your reservation (603) 606-5100.

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