Sick of wrapping up a romantic evening by waiting outside for your Uber to arrive on a hot and sticky rainy Friday night? Or worse, yet, having valet splash your date as the driver pulls up with your ride. Mood breaker! But it could be much worse! They say the way to a man (or woman’s) heart, is through the stomach, and the art of home-cooking has been seducing men and women for centuries. In Italy around the time of World War II, the dish Pasta Puttanesca was born. Pardon the French but Puttanesca is Italian for “in the style of prostitutes”…or more euphemistically, “ladies of the night” Italy’s most fragrant dish consists of a few simple key ingredients: capers, black olives, anchovies, tomatoes and, of course, garlic. This odoriferous delight has an unconventional yet arousing story on how it got its name. You see, food historians have said that women in the oldest profession on Earth would place hot pots filled with homecooked sauce on the window sill. The potent scent of the blended ingredients helped lure hungry men into their lair, where they would pay for the meal and much, much more. Another version claims that the women would cook entire feasts in between meetings with lovers to regain energy after long, lustful sessions. Legend has it that anchovies were frequently added to the recipe since often they were given scraps by the local fishermen who visited them. One crude version of Puttanesca says the pungent odor of the sauce reminded them of the scent the streetwalkers had while they were on the clock. Now that’s amore!
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