In the 1950s Sandro Petti was the owner of a popular restaurant on Ischia called Rancho Fellone. This restaurant-come-nightclub quickly became frequented by the dolce vita who would enjoy summers on the island. One night, Sandro had some hungry customers arrive late begging him to rustle something up from the kitchen. Although he had run out of food he didn’t want to disappoint his guests so he pulled together what he could from his bare cupboards – olives, anchovies, olive oil, garlic and a few tomatoes. These ingredients were thrown together and served with spaghetti. The guests were obsessed with this delicious meal and Sandro shrugged it off as nothing special Those guests went on to spread the word and came back to eat it every night. Later, this throw-together dish evolved to be known as Spaghetti alla puttanesca, which many translate as ‘whore’s pasta’. Davide Conte, who lives on the island, and knows Sandro well, told me this wonderful story. Sadly, on this trip, I missed the opportunity to meet Sandro but Davide tells me that Sandro is still surprised when he thinks back to that night when he was in a rush in his kitchen. He could never have imagined that what he was about to create would be a dish to go down in Italian history.