We’re sharing a taste of Gennaro’s Cucina: Hearty Money-Saving Meals from an Italian Kitchen by Gennaro Contaldo, out now published by Pavilion Books
Ä Linguine alla puttanesca
This typical Neapolitan dish is sometimes referred to as pasta alla marinara or simply as con olive e capperi, which are com-mon ingredients is this part of Italy. The name Puttanesca came about in the mid-20th century it was claimed that this dish was served in the brothels of Naples – puttana means ‘whore’ in Italian. Another theory was that a restaurant owner on the island of Ischia put together this dish when a group of late-night customers asked him to make una puttanata qualsiasi – in other words, make whatever you’ve got to hand. And that is exactly what he did with the ingredients he found in his kitchen. Whatever the reason behind its title, this spicy pasta dish is quick and simple to prepare with store cupboard ingredients.
This traditional hearty Tuscan soup is perfect for using up vegetables and stale bread. It was born out of a necessity to make meals go further and last longer. It was probably also made to be eaten for several days, hence its name Ribollita, which means “to reboil”. You can use any type of cabbage, spring greens and spinach and basically any vegetables you have.