Month: March 2020

Super Easy Pasta Puttanesca

When I first moved to London I studied with German former male model who vastly improved my appreciation of pasta by cooking me pasta with two of the most basic tomato based pasta sauces.

The first was just onions, garlic and tinned tomatoes. Finished with some basil and mozzarella.

Prostitutes pasta

The second was this here pasta puttanesca, which stirs people into fits and giggles because its name literally translates to ‘prostitutes pasta’. But let’s be fair. All the hard work sex workers do and the shit they get for it from the rest of us means they’ve got to eat good.

So live your best life and make this pasta. I promise the anchovies in this aren’t scary, think of them as super salt. No matter how many I’ve put in, my puttanesca never tastes overly fishy. Trust me, I’ve tried.

Once your belly is full, please donate to the Dutch Emergency Fund to help Dutch sex workers cover lost income from the Corona-crisis.

How do I eat pasta puttanesca?

Pasta puttanesca is a main and doesn’t need anything else. A nice helping of red wine and as much grated Parmesan and freshly ground pepper as your plate can carry will do nicely however.

An overhead shot of a white enamel plate with a blue trim on top of a blue background. The plate is filled with spaghetti, red sauce and capers. To the left bottom of the plate is an empty tomato tin, scattered at the bottom right are some capers and anchovy filets. There is a fork at the side of the plate. At the top Dorothy Porker has written PUTA in spaghetti.

Super Easy Pasta Puttanesca Recipe

Dorothy Porker
Pasta puttanesca is a pungent umami laden affair that should be a go-to meal for anybody that loves quick and easy meals made from store cupboard items (and anchovies).
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Course Dinner, Main course
Cuisine Italian
Servings 2


  • Big pot for cooking pasta
  • Heavy based pot to make the sauce
  • Sieve
  • Grater


  • salt
  • 5 oz - 140 gr pasta of choice, I'm a linguine girl myself
  • 1 T - 15 ml olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic finely chopped
  • 3 medium shallots finely chopped
  • 14 oz - 400 gr tomatoes one tin - I prefer peeled plum tomatoes myself
  • 1 T - 20 gr tomato puree
  • 1/2 T - 7 ml Balsamic vinegar
  • 1 t - 5 gr sugar
  • 2 T - 40 gr capers less or more to taste, roughly chopped olives also work
  • 1/2 c - 60 gr Parmesan grated
  • 1 pinch salt more or less to taste
  • black pepper as much as you like, freshly ground is best
  • 7 oz - 213 gr tinned salmon or tuna 1 tin drained, optional - please look for ASC- or MSC-certification


  • Bring some heavily salted water to the boil in a large pot.
  • Heat 1 T - 15 ml of olive oil in a heavy based pot and fry off the finely chopped 4 cloves of garlic and 3 shallots until they become translucent. Avoid burning by stirring constantly and lowering the heat if necessary.
  • Once the onions and garlic have started to become translucent, add 6 finely chopped anchovy filets and stir until they begin to break down.
  • Dump in your 14 oz - 400 gr tin of tomatoes and 1 T - 20 gr tomato paste and let sit at a soft bubble for until reduced by about half. This should take 15-30 minutes or so.
  • Now is the time to dump 5 oz - 140 gr of pasta into the salted boiling water and cook it according to the instructions on the packet. I like to cook the pasta slightly under and reduce the cooking time by 1 minute to ensure a little bit of bite. Be sure to reduce the heat a little so it doesn't boil over.
  • After the sauce has been reduced down, add 1/2 T - 7 ml of balsamic vinegar and 1 t - 5 gr of sugar, stir and reduce down further, for a minute or 2.
  • Taste and season with salt and pepper. Because of the salt contents from the anchovies I generally find this doesn't need a lot of salt, if any.
  • Stir in 2 T - 40 gr of capers and drained 7 oz - 213 gr tin of tuna (if using).
  • Drain the pasta, mix with the sauce and serve with a good helping of freshly grated Parmesan and black pepper.


This sauce keeps for about 3 months in the freezer, double-up the recipe if you have the time and store some in the freezer so you always have a quick meal at the ready.
Keyword anchovies, easy pasta, Italian food, pasta

Zoek je dit recept in het Nederlands? Ga dan naar voor makkelijke pasta puttanesca

Caramelized Fennel with Feta

It’s been a while since I’ve added a new recipe on here because I have been dealing with Stuff. I have a deadline for the clarification of said Stuff now and will hopefully be able to start sharing recipes again on a regular basis in the second half of the year, but for now, you’ll have to deal with patchy updates.

Feel free to follow me on Instagram for behind-the-scenes madness, cats and me growing my first tomatillos, or on Twitter where I passive aggressively like political tweets so they land in your feed without your being able to tell me you disagree with me.

There is also The Big Thing, which I don’t really want to talk about because everyone else is already talking about it. But I can share a simple recipe (and hopefully a few more) while we are all stuck indoors.

The cover of Yotam Ottolenghi's PlentyGoat cheese schmoat cheese

So here’s an old favorite of mine, adapted from a recipe from Yotam Ottolenghi’s Plenty, caramelized fennel with feta and pine nuts.

Ottolenghi makes his with goat quark or yogurt, but since I always have feta on hand I prefer to make it like this. I like to throw in some pine nuts for good measure, because pine nuts. Hazelnuts would probably also be very nice.

What do I eat with caramelized fennel with feta?

I eat this by myself for lunch or dinner as a main course with some pita or Turkish bread. You could probably also have it with some simply baked white fish or salmon but I don’t think it needs much more. If there are two of you you’ll probably went to get a bulb each or add another dish to ensure a satisfying meal.

An overhead shot of a small green plate with caramelized fennel topped with roast pine nuts and crumbled feta and fennel fronds scattered across with a bamboo fork sticking out at the top, next to it is a small tan bowl filled with crumbled feta on top of a light green backdrop.

Caramelized Fennel with Feta and Pine Nuts

Dorothy Porker
A vegetarian recipe for caramelized with feta and pine nuts, inspired by Ottolenghi. Perfect at all temperatures for spring, summer, fall and winter.
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Course Dinner, Lunch, Main course
Cuisine Vegetarian
Servings 1 -2 people


  • Large frying pan or skillet
  • Large plate


  • 1 large bulb fennel cut into 1 cm/ 5 inch slices, fronds set aside
  • 2 x 2 T - 20 gr butter
  • 3 T - 15 ml olive oil
  • 2 T - 25 gr sugar
  • 1 t - 5 gr fennel seeds ground works too in a pinch, but not as nicely
  • 4 oz - 120 gr feta crumbled, you can do this by stabbing it with a fork and then twisting the fork
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 1/4 c - 33 gr pine nuts dry roasted in a skillet or non-stick frying pan to bring out the flavor


  • Melt 1 T - 20 gr of butter and 3 T - 45 ml of olive oil in a large skillet or frying pan.
  • Once the butter stops bubbling, place as many slices of fennel into the pan as it will comfortably hold (usually about half of the fennel) and roast for 3-6 minutes on each side to get a decent amount of color on them. This will go a lot quicker if you resist the urge to move them around.
  • When the first batch of fennel has browned nicely, set it aside on a large plate or in a bowl, add 1 T - 20 gr butter again and fry the second batch as before.
  • Remove the remainder of the fennel when ready, leave the pan on the heat and add 2 T - 30 gr sugar, 1 T - 15 gr fennel seeds and a good helping of salt and pepper. Shake the pan vigorously for 30 seconds or so to help the butter, oil, fennel seeds and sugar divide evenly across the bottom of the pan.
  • Now place all the pre-cooked fennel back into the pan and let sit on each side for 2-4 minutes until you get some REALLY good caramelisation going on.
  • Remove from the pan and back into your large bowl or plate and mix with the finely chopped clove of garlic while still hot.
  • Depending on the weather and the season, serve immediately or leave until cooled covered in a healthy dose of the crumbled feta, dry roasted pine nuts, chopped fennel fronds and more seasoning to taste.
Keyword fennel, feta, ottelenghi, pine nuts, pinenuts, Salad

Zoek je dit recept in het Nederlands? Ga dan naar voor gekarameliseerde venkel met feta en pijnboompitten