Eggplant Putanesca – Honoring the Oldest Profession

Foodie Friday

Apr 15, 2011 by

Most people know Pasta Putanesca – the spicy Italian sauce referring to the women who practice the oldest profession of all. There are a cluster of stories for the origin of the name and general agreement about the basic ingredients.

And since you know I can’t resist garlicky, intensely flavored food, I developed a recipe using eggplant as the base and recombining the flavors for an easy to do- ahead side dish that could be served hot or warm.

Eggplant Putanesca

Two eggplants should feed four to six as a side dish. Feel free to adjust the ingredients to match your own taste for these strong flavors.


2 medium size eggplants

1 C. pitted kalamata olives

3 T. capers

3-5 cloves garlic

1 T anchovy paste or ½ can anchovies (or the whole can if you like anchovies)

¼ C. fresh basil or 2 T. fresh thyme or oregano

8 Campari or 4 small good-tasting tomatoes

4 – 8 oz. Feta or Parmesan cheese

Olive oil

Salt and Pepper


  1. Cut eggplants in half, put flesh-side down on plate and microwave for 10 minutes. (they will be pretty soft)
  2. Arrange eggplants, skin-side down, on an oiled or aluminum-covered baking sheet and score deeply both lengthwise and crosswise. (The aluminum makes clean-up easy.)
  3. Chop remaining ingredients in food processor until chunky – taste for the balance of flavors that pleases you.
  4. Stuff the filling into the eggplant along the scores, pushing it into the spaces and pilling the rest of the filling on top. (Making extra filling will give you topping for brushetta or baked potatoes or other good things!)
  5. Drizzle with olive oil
  6. Bake at 375 for half hour or until bubbly and brown.

Serve hot or warm

Graphic credit: My Recipes

About the Author

Rebecca Crichton Has Written 40 Articles For Us!

I try to stay aware of one main concept: We see things through different lenses. We get caught in our own belief systems and most of us are pretty attached to being right. I am one of those inveterate Life Long Learners. I like new ideas, new experiences, new people, new challenges.
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1 Comment

  1. Rebecca – One of my favorite things about your yummy recipes is you usually give us a couple of different ways to use the dish. Great idea to take the filling and use it for brushetta.

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