Pasta Puttanesca | aka “Whore’s Sauce”

Pasta Puttanesca is an incredible Italian sauce that was used by prostitutes to lure in clients.  It's sexy, fragrant, and enticing.  Good move ladies!

Whore's Sauce

Pasta Puttanesca is an incredible Italian sauce that was used by prostitutes to lure in clients.   (Literally “spaghetti in the style of a prostitute” in Italian).  It's sexy, fragrant, and enticing.  Good move ladies!

There is another story about a restaurant owner having late guests and no ingredients, so he threw together a garbage dish, with what he could gather in his kitchen, but that story is not nearly as salacious or exciting.

Raj and Pam and I went to a local food show full of Artisan producers and local chefs.  We had a great time, eating all the great food, and trying products.  “Chef G” had a pop -up grocery set up and as we strolled by, a jar of sauce caught my eye.  Chef G laughed and explained the story of the working ladies cooking up this fragrant sauce between customers.

Pasta Puttanesca aka "Whore's Sauce"Pasta Puttanesca aka "Whore's Sauce"Pasta Puttanesca aka "Whore's Sauce"

We convinced a dear friend to do a little old Italian-inspired photo shoot.  Do you remember the Old Fashioned Bartender shoot with Holley?  “Oh, muddling…!”

We put together a plan for poached eggs in this sauce (watch for that recipe) served on fluffy sourdough and topped with local creamy blue cheese.  It was amazing,  so amazing I set to work perfecting this sauce for you guys!

Summer of Silicon Valley

Usually, by this time of the year, I am feeling fatigued, and this year is no exception.  My day job is stressful and busy in the summer, so it ends up being my least favorite season of the year.  I have to work hard to reframe and be positive.  Focusing on things like early bedtimes and seasonal fruits and veggies.

To help me relax, I have been watching a little HBO, and have been hooked on the series Silicon Valley.  It is all about a group of guys and their adventures with a start up company in California's famous Silicon Valley.  It is dry and funny, and terribly smart.

I find myself attracted to the characters in Silicon Valley with odd giggle-inducing crushes.  “Oh that Jared!” or “Dinesh… he is the best!”

Sapiosexual and Other Desires

No surprise: I love the intelligent wit and situational awkwardness.   I love awkward.  I also love smart.  Smart people, in general, are more attractive to me.  Poor punctuation or misspelled words via text message can end the correspondence.  There is a term for that- being attracted to someone for their intelligence: “sapiosexual”.

Are you a sapiosexual?  How important is intelligence to you when you are dating?  I was reading more about sapiosexuality and one article quoted “the brain is the largest sex organ.  Those who admit to being sapiosexual will say that they are turned on by the brain and tend to be teased or excited by the insights of another person”.

There are so many fascinating levels for attraction.  A couple of years ago I read a book called Perv: The Sexual Deviant in All of Us Hardcover by Jesse Bering and was completely enthralled with the different desires, maybe even PRIMAL DESIRES (get it?!) people have.  After reading the book Perv, I feel like being sapiosexual is a little boring!

I found this article “Why being attracted to smarter men is the biggest reason you're single” and maybe I have discovered why I am single!  It is because I like smart men!  Not because I have 3 jobs or am apathetic on dating sites, or so enjoy my alone time (insert sarcasm).  Hahaha.

I have a few more episodes of Silicon Valley to watch, and just 3 more weeks left till my day job slows down.  Then look out smart-men, I'll be on the prowl!  I hope you like meaningful conversations over fragrant and delicious Pasta Puttanesca!  Oh!  Raj & I will also be participating in the 30-day Primal Play challenge in September.  Check it out!


Pasta Puttanesca is an incredible Italian sauce that was used by prostitutes to lure in clients.  It's sexy, fragrant, and enticing.  Good move ladies!

Pasta Puttanesca | aka Whore's Sauce

  • Author: Holley
  • Prep Time: 5 min
  • Cook Time: 15 min
  • Total Time: 20 min
  • Yield: 5 cups
  • Category: Sauce
  • Method: stove-top
  • Cuisine: Italian


  • 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 cup diced onions
  • 2 tsp capers
  • 2 sardines diced
  • 1 pints of canned tomatoes
  • 1 tsp diced oregano
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp chili flakes
  • 1 Tbsp basil
  • 1/4 cup pitted black olives, whole or sliced


  1. Drizzle olive oil into a pan and saute the onions and garlic until they are translucent and fragrant.
  2. Add all other ingredients and bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer.
  3. Simmer for 10 minutes and serve over vegetable noodles.
Pasta Puttanesca is an incredible Italian sauce that was used by prostitutes to lure in clients.  It's sexy, fragrant, and enticing.  Good move ladies!

About the Author:

Real food fan. My first love is baking, and it keeps me sane. I am new to the Paleo lifestyle, but already infatuated. Recovering sugar Junkie. Love awkward situations, drunk people and ridiculously high heeled shoes, especially when they coincide. Always looking for my next great story.


  1. Pam August 14, 2017 at 10:04 pm - Reply

    I’m still drooling over those poached eggs in whore sauce….mmmmm

    p.s. looking foxy F 😉

  2. Renee Kohley August 21, 2017 at 5:12 pm - Reply

    Love the olives and capers in this! I can see why it is so enticing!

    • Holley August 26, 2017 at 1:46 pm

      I don’t love olives or capers, but I still love this sauce!

  3. Jean August 22, 2017 at 6:34 pm - Reply

    The history of the sauce is SO interesting! I never knew that. I can see why, it looks amazing!

    • Holley August 26, 2017 at 1:45 pm

      Thanks Jean!

  4. michelespring2014 August 23, 2017 at 7:03 pm - Reply

    ok, I literally LOL’ed when I read the title of this. I mean, now it makes sense and all, but it was just funny to see, you know “whore’s sauce” splashed up there. I love me some good puttanesca though so I’ll have to whip up a batch here soon. And yes, grammar is important. Says the person who just started a sentence with “and” and wrote “I love me some”. Yep. Hypocritical much? haha!

    • Raj August 25, 2017 at 8:04 pm

      LOL, as long as you’re aware, I think it’s all good!

  5. Tina T. August 23, 2017 at 7:42 pm - Reply

    LOL omg! Never knew Puttanesca = Whore sauce! Well, it’s delish!

    • Holley August 26, 2017 at 1:44 pm

      Such a great story!

  6. Irena Macri August 24, 2017 at 1:29 pm - Reply

    I love the history of this sauce! And I’ve never watched Silicon Valley, but it’s been on my list. You’re a good cook and a good storyteller. Go find yourself a brainiac 😉

    • Holley August 26, 2017 at 1:44 pm

      ON IT!! Know anyone? 🙂

  7. Kari Peters August 25, 2017 at 5:37 pm - Reply

    Interesting history to what looks like an amazing sauce!

  8. STACEY CRAWFORD August 27, 2017 at 10:00 am - Reply

    I am enjoying the historical sauce lesson! I live near the Silicon Valley, and love that show. The boys on that show are so much like my brainy teen son and his friends. I adore puttanesca sauce, but have never used to lure in men. Although, I may have used bacon for that, lol.

    • Holley August 27, 2017 at 5:32 pm

      Stacey, I feel like bacon is the crowd I’m looking to lure in! 🙂

  9. eighty20nutrition August 27, 2017 at 12:20 pm - Reply

    Fascinating info about the history of the sauce! Great post!

    • Holley August 27, 2017 at 5:31 pm

      Thanks! 🙂

  10. ChihYu August 27, 2017 at 6:47 pm - Reply

    What a lovely comfort food ! I can have this everyday. Thanks for sharing !

  11. Emily @ Recipes to Nourish August 27, 2017 at 9:20 pm - Reply

    LOL I didn’t know that about pasta puttanesca. I’ve always loved that sauce, I bet it’s so yummy over zoodles!

  12. Georgie August 28, 2017 at 1:36 am - Reply

    Oh my this looks gooooooooood! I love a good puttanesca!

  13. edwarddb August 28, 2017 at 3:18 am - Reply

    Great post – a pleasure to read! Plus I love Silicon Valley show too but not for the same reasons 😉 Looking forward to some September Primal Play too!

  14. Katja August 28, 2017 at 9:01 am - Reply

    I never knew that about puttanesca sauce. But I can totally get behind luring in my lover with food. Oh, and I love smarts too!

  15. Steve September 8, 2017 at 6:34 pm - Reply

    I’ve heard several versions not how the sauce got it’s name.
    My favorite is that it was a sauce cooked by a housewife that had spent the day with her lover, not in the kitchen.
    Because it is such great depth of flavors, the husband would assume that his wife was home all day cooking and not off with another man.

    • Raj September 12, 2017 at 9:08 am

      Ooh! I like that story too. No matter what, it seems like a scandalous, “saucey” sauce!

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