Sunday, October 31, 2010

Slut's Spaghetti

This morning Nigella Lawson opened up her cooking show, Nigella Kitchen, by making a recipe called Slut's Spaghetti. Nigella's Slut's Spaghetti is her take on an Italian classic, Pasta Puttanesca, which Nigella mentions is translated in English as "pasta cooked in a whorish fashion." Nigella explained the reasons behind the name of the dish and went on to say that she preferred to call her version simply "Slut's Spaghetti. When Nigella finished making the spaghetti, she plated it, and took the entire dish to bed with her. I love that woman!

I already had a recipe in mind for this month's Food 'n Flix movie, Mystic Pizza. While watching Nigella I had a change of heart. I stopped writing the post and got up to make Nigella's Slut's Spaghetti. What better reason to make Slut's Spaghetti than for the girls of Mystic Pizza? After all, the movie is all about three young-spirited girls who definitely are crazy about men! A classic 80's movie all about coming of age, learning about yourself, life, and naturally, lots of heartbreak. Typical young girls who I'm sure would love this pasta just about as much as they loved their men.

Nigella Lawson's Slut's Spaghetti - recipe adapted from Food Network
Nigella says:
Well, how could I resist this translation of pasta alla puttanesca, whore's pasta as it usually is described in English? The general consensus seems to be that this is the sort of dish cooked by slatterns who don't go to market to get their ingredients fresh, but are happy to use stuff out of jars and cans. I hold my hands up to that. Or maybe one should just attribute the name gamely to the fiery tang and robust saltiness of the dish? But, anyhow, what better recipe to start off this section devoted to the fruits of the larder.

Please fire up the sauce if you want, but do know that even though the first mouthful might seem not quite hot enough, the heat builds as you eat. I sometimes go a little cross-cultural in my chili-case and use hot pickled jalapenos from a jar found on the Tex-Mex shelves of the supermarket. And while you're there, do look out for the tiny French nonpareil (or nonpareilles) capers: they may be smaller, but they pack more of a pungent punch than the larger capers.
* 3 tablespoons olive oil
* 8 anchovy fillets, drained and finely chopped
* 2 garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced, crushed or grated
* 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, or 1 to 2 tablespoons jarred or canned jalapeno peppers (preferably red), drained, sliced, and diced, or to taste
* Salt
* 1 pound spaghetti
* 1 (14-ounce) can diced tomatoes
* 1 1/4 cups chopped drained pitted black olives
* 2 tablespoons small capers, well rinsed and drained
* 2 to 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves, for garnish, optional
* Freshly ground black pepper

Bring a large pot of water, for the pasta, to a boil over medium heat, though you don't need to get started on the sauce until the water is pretty well boiling.

Pour the oil into a wide, shallowish frying pan, Dutch oven, or wok, and put it over medium heat.

Add the anchovies and cook for about 3 minutes, pressing and pushing with a wooden spoon, until the anchovies have almost "melted". Add the garlic and red pepper flakes or jalapenos and cook, stirring, for another minute.

This is probably the stage at which you will want to salt the boiling water and adding the spaghetti to cook, following the package instructions.

Going back to the sauce, add the tomatoes, olives, and capers to the pot with the anchovies and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring every now and again, by which time it will have thickened slightly. Taste for seasoning.

Just before the pasta is ready, remove and reserve about an espresso cupful of cooking water.

When the pasta is cooked as desired, drain and add the spaghetti to the tomato sauce, adding a little reserved pasta water, if needed, to help amalgamate the sauce. Scatter with chopped parsley, if there's some to hand, and serve in slatternly style, preferably with an unfiltered cigarette clamped between crimson-painted lips.

Make Ahead Note:

The sauce can be made 2 days ahead. Transfer the sauce to a nonmetallic bowl to cool, then cover and refrigerate as soon as possible. Reheat gently in large saucepan, frying pan, or wok, stirring occasionally, until piping hot.

Freeze Note:

The cooled sauce can be frozen in a resealable container for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator and reheat as above.

Notes/Results: Big love to Nigella Lawson and the girls of Mystic Pizza for making me laugh and smile. I enjoyed watching Mystic Pizza back in the day, just as much as I enjoy watching it now. It will always be one of those classic 80's movies. It seemed fitting to combine Nigella with the girls of Mystic Pizza since all of these ladies are good at saying exactly what's on their mind. I did make one change to the recipe, based only on the fact that I was also feeding a male slut. I added one pound of ground beef. Otherwise I kept the recipe the same. It was perfectly vulgar with flavor and a very satisfying dish. A gutsy pasta recipe that best represents both Nigella and the girls of Mystic Falls.

Head on over to Food 'n Flix, a monthly celebration of movies and food. Next month's movie is going to be The Ramen Girl!


  1. I have to admit to doing a double take and then a triple take when I saw the name of your spaghetti on my blogroll, lol! What a riot!!! I couldn't wait to rush over here. I thought you were calling yourself a slut, lol! ARGH! One of my new favourite foods is anchovies so I'm very excited to see this. I always thought I hated them and suddently I love them. Go figure! Great post, as always, Kim and a scrumptious looking spaghetti. Happy Halloween!!!!

  2. Crap - I missed Food and Flix again! Love your puttenesca...and I love Nigella (and you and your blog). This is sure a keeper and I will be having a version of this on our table in Novemeber!

  3. How exactly does one make pasta in a sluttish fashion? Now THAT is my question. Well I guess I'll just have to make it while wearing some lingerie. It sounds delicious.

  4. I knew that you would have been cooking up some great food over here while I was away, so I headed over here to check it out. Needless to say you didn't disappoint me, but I'm still laughing over your title (I thought I was on the wrong blog)!

  5. I am a grand devotee of "slut spaghetti" so will need to try this version. You evoked the passion of the dish!

  6. Very fun! I DVR'd Nigella this morning but haven't watched it yet. This looks perfect--spicy and good. Love that you added the meat to it too.

  7. that's awesome; I love Nigella. She WOULD rename puttanesca and then bring it to bed.

  8. I am LOVING the name.. what an eye catcher!! Sounds fabulously delicious as well..

  9. Classic Nigella! I'm laughing so hard over here. And "perfectly vulgar with flavor" is a phrase I don't think I will ever forget...and think I must use at least once a week. My husband loves Pasta Puttanesca. (Me, I'm not wild about it). I'll have to tell him about Slut's spaghetti!

  10. When I saw the name in my feed reader for this post I did a double take and then thought "hmmm, it can't be slut, there must be another meaning for this in the english language", but got the biggest kick out of this pasta when I realized I was right in the first place. Love Nigella and this is hilarious! Looks great and what a perfect way to enjoy one of my all-time favorite 80's movies :o)

  11. Wonderful post Kim!!

    I can only imagine the state of her sheets are after eating this in bed (if the state of my T-shirt is anything to go by)!!!!!!!

  12. Perfect! So funny. I love pasta puttanesca.. or slut's spaghetti! ☺

  13. Ha every time I read "slut's spaghetti" I giggled a little bit. I would totally love to make pasta in a whorish fashion.. it sounds delicious!

  14. You've gotta love Nigella!! This sounds delicious!!

  15. Hilarious and delicious looking. Just book marked this one to try because I've never done a slut's spaghetti. Errr.....that sounded wrong.

    PS: Nigella = Hottest Woman on Food Network

  16. I have GOT to make this if only to announce the name! Really, Nigella is fabulous!

  17. It's all in the name. This dish sounds, satisfying.

  18. Luv this version! Looks delicious and "dinner-in-bed" worthy!

  19. I saw this episode too Kim! Nigella is such a hoot! I like that you beefed it up a bit. And I think it's fitting for Mystic Pizza!

  20. Haha! Thanks for the laugh! This looks great!

  21. I love that woman, too...she's so awesome! I want a girls night where we wear silk and red lipstick and high heels and eat slut's spaghetti...aaaahhhh... and I want Nigella to be there! I think the girls of Mystic Pizza would definitely approve ;)

  22. Loved Nigella's Slut Spahghetti - went out and bought all the ingredients to cook it for myself tonight - not sure if I'll eat it in bed though! lol! Great post, enjoyed reading it.

  23. I saw nigella making this on tv. I love pasta putanesca, its so flavorful and yummy. I wonder if I am a sluttish housewife then LOL.
    *kisses* HH

  24. I agree with everything that Heather (girlichef) said above! I adore Nigella and her authenticity, her sexuality, her unashamed full-figure, her late night eating in the frig and in bed, the list goes on. I have finally figured out how to record or DVR my foodie shows and watched this version, WHILE READING HER NEW COOKBOOK to go along with her new show.....then, believe it or not, she was featured on an episode this week of The Today Show, Regis and Kelly, and Hoda and Kathy Lee! Guess what she fixed? You got it, SLUT'S SPAGHETTI! So I've got to try it with your stamp of approval on it. Can you tell me more about this film and foodie group! Thanks Kim, Roz

  25. Pasta puttanesca/slut's spaghetti it's all fabulous! I adore Nigella...I must say we have had this dish several times now and we love it. Kim, great post my dear.

  26. How did I miss this post? I'm so sorry Kim! Nigella, as you know, is definitely one of my favorites because she isn't intent on being perfect in the kitchen and I think we can all relate to that. This dish proves that simplicity yet yields a fun dinner. Oh, I loved Mystic Pizza and watched it over and over. It has that cute girl, I think her name is Annabella Gish who was in another fun movie called Shag. Did you see that one? Loved it even more.
    Love your post, my friend.


Thanks so much for taking the time to leave a comment! At the moment I am having a huge problem with spam so I've had to add comment moderation and close off comments to anonymous users. I apologize for the trouble and hope to return my comments to normal shortly.