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CBS Soap Recipes by Dani

Phyllis & Nick's Puttanesca Rehearsal Dinner

This is more of a concept than a recipe, but first a little soap and culinary history.

Puttanesca: a type of sauce to top any kind of pasta, the exact translation is “whore's spaghetti”. The origin of why it is called that is unknown exactly, but there is one good working theory that is most often accepted. This sauce is so fragrant that it lures a person just as the “ladies of pleasure” would lure a man to the state-owned brothels that once existed in Italian villages. This is a tomato- and olive oil-based sauce. In Italy still today, most grocery shopping is done at open air markets. Fresh vegetables and fresh meats were/are not available to buy in bulk and stores as we do here in the states, for the most part. Shopping is not always a daily option, especially for the lower classes. So, this sauce is a creation of whatever you have on hand. There are no set ingredients as the concept of this sauce is strictly based on what is available. This is a very flavorful sauce.

The concept of a “Puttanesca Dinner” is to use the same idea of multiple ingredients with no limit or restrictions, only on a larger scale. This is great for a rehearsal dinner, especially a large one, or a dinner party. Best of all, it is so very easy and inexpensive to pull together. I would suggest that to get the biggest bang for your buck, you only plan this for 10 or more guests. Otherwise, you have a lot of waste.

I chose this idea for Nick and Phyllis on Y&R because both are fiery and made up of a lot of different dynamics. Each has a lot to bring to the table (no pun intended) as a couple and as individuals. Also, recently when they married in Genoa City, there was a lot of emphasis on their rehearsal dinner, something you do not see often in daytime drama weddings.

The Puttanesca Dinner

Plan to set up buffet style. Remember, amounts and variety should be based on the amount of guests. Feel free to email me at  if you feel you need help judging. I am writing this based on 18-20 guests.

At one end of your table, provide 4 large pots or warming containers of cooked pasta. Leave pasta in the water and provide tongs or a pasta/spaghetti spoon for each pot, so that guests can remove their choice of pasta. Use variety!!! A spaghetti noodle, a small noodle like a bowtie or penne, a flat noodle, or perhaps a linguine or fettuccini (I like to use a florentine; it adds character) and I always have Gnocchi available (Gnocchi is a small potato dumpling available on the shelf next to your dry pastas).

In large to medium bowls lined down the table, provide a variety of cooked and prepared meats (if you have the budget), vegetables, and cheeses.


Diced or sliced chicken breasts, ground beef, shrimp, Italian Sausage, and Prosciutto


Onions- fresh and caramelized, Mushrooms - fresh and sautéed, artichoke hearts, green and black olives, steamed broccoli, sautéed squash and zucchini, roasted red peppers, bell peppers

Other items & Cheeses: Pine nuts, capers, *see recipe* bruschetta, crushed red peppers, fresh mozzarella, shredded mozzarella, parmesan, Romano, bacon crumbles, fresh herbs


Always offer a basic marinara and alfredo, as well as other options. However, narrow your sauce choices down to no more than four, such as meat sauce, pesto sauce, creamy tomato, fra Diablo (spicy tomato). Always have olive oil available.

You never want to give guests too many choices, even though that is the idea of the above party. Provide a large bowl of either a Mediterranean salad, or a classic Caesar, and a large basket of a nice crusty Italian bread (a lot of people do love garlic bread). People tend to really fill up when you serve pasta this way because they get excited about being able to create exactly what they want. Therefore, pasta, salad, bread and a small dessert are going to be plenty for your guests. They will leave your party or get-together full and happy. This is also a very sociable way to eat, especially if most of your guests don't know each other. People who otherwise would have no idea what to say can discuss their flavor combinations. Also, people appreciate being given the opportunity to experiment with ingredients and ideas that may go unknown to them.

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