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"Fish, to taste right, must swim three times - in water, in butter, and in wine."--Polish Proverb

Sauce Putanesca (Red Spaghetti Sauce - Prostitute's Style) Recipe

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This recipe for Sauce Putanesca (Red Spaghetti Sauce - Prostitute's Style), by , is from The Getzen Family Recipes and Remembrances, one of the cookbooks created at We'll help you start your own personal cookbook! It's easy and fun. Click here to start your own cookbook!

Beverley & Rufus Getzen


1½ pounds pork neck bones
1½ pounds ground chuck
2 cans (6 cups) crushed tomatoes
2 cans (6 cups) tomato puree
2½ cups minced fresh onion
4 tablespoons minced garlic
1 cup water
12-14 fresh basil leaves, finely chopped
2 bay leaves, whole
½ cup calamata olives, pitted and chopped (not California olives)
5 or 6 fresh mint leaves, finely chopped
2 cups sliced mushrooms
1/3 cup capers, chopped
1/3 cup roasted pimiento (sweet red peppers), chopped
3 ounces anchovies, chopped
3 + teaspoons salt
6 + tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon Tabasco sauce
¾ teaspoon black pepper
½ cup olive oil

In a large pot, braise neck bones in 4 to 5 tablespoons olive oil until well browned. Then add tomatoes, puree and water. Bring to boil, then reduce heat to slow simmer.

In skillet, sauté garlic and onions in 4 to 5 tablespoons olive oil until clear (12 to 14 minutes) over low heat. In another skillet, brown the chuck; drain. Add chuck, garlic and onions with cooking oil to tomato mixture. Add all other ingredients except mint. Cover and continue to simmer for another three or four hours, stirring about every 15 minutes. Taste. Depending on acidity of tomatoes, it may be necessary to add a little more salt and/or sugar.

About 10 minutes before serving, add fresh mint and stir. Remove bay leaves and neck bones, scraping any bits of meat clinging to bones into the pot.

Serve over capellini or thin spaghettini with a grated well-aged Romano cheese.

Freezes well, but do not reheat in plastic. Dip Zip locks or plastic containers in hot water, then slide frozen sauce into microwave-safe bowl.

Number Of Servings:
Number Of Servings:
14 to 18
Personal Notes:
Personal Notes:
This is another version of tomato sauce that I my experimentations, based on John Riggio's descriptions of his mother's traditional recipe, produced. (See Sauce Matriciano for the whole story.) Putanesca is a strong sauce that will flavor lots of pasta. Use only with strong cheese.




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