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The best wine pairings for spaghetti puttanesca


Spaghetti puttanesca – or ‘whore’s spaghetti’ as it’s otherwise known – is a punchy pasta dish with strong, salty flavours but which wine should you match with it?

There are various theories about how the dish – a comparatively recent invention – got its name, the most plausible being that it was a simple storecupboard dish that could be slung together between clients’ visits.

The sauce which contains garlic, anchovies, capers, chillies and olives is quite a lot for any wine to handle. My preference, given the base is cooked tomatoes, would be for a southern Italian red – even a basic carafe wine would do.

  • Sicilian and southern Italian reds such as nero d’avola, negroamara and primitivo
  • Inexpensive zinfandel (you don’t want one that’s too extracted or high in alcohol with this punchy pasta sauce)
  • Barbera – from Northern Italy or elsewhere – always a good wine with a rustic dish
  • Inexpensive Portuguese reds from the Alentejo – ripe and supple, they make a good stand-in for an Italian red
  • And if you fancy a white try a crisp southern Italian white such as Falanghina or Greco
  • Needless to say if you’re making the dish with another type of pasta like penne the recommendations would be the same. You match the sauce not the pasta shape.
  • For pairings for other pasta sauces see here.



***Grabbed from: