• Partnered with
  • Quick
  • Easy
  • Serves 4
  • 20 mins cook

Traditional spaghetti alla puttanesca

Traditional spaghetti alla puttanesca

This traditional spaghetti alla puttanesca recipe is fast and easy, like the women this dish was apparently named for



  • 5 L water
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 400 g dried spaghetti

Puttanesca sauce

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 anchovy fillets
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 3 large cloves garlic, crushed
  • 800 g chopped tinned tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp capers, chopped
  • pinch dried chilli flakes
  • 1/3 cup mixed olives, sliced (or use whole if you prefer)
  • 1/3 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley


  1. Put the water on to boil and add the salt.
  2. Heat the oil in a frying pan and add the anchovy fillets. Give them a stir and cook gently until they begin to break up and dissolve. Add the chopped onion and garlic to the pan and cook until tender.
  3. Add the tinned tomatoes, capers and chilli flakes and simmer for 5 minutes or until the mixture begins to thicken. Stir in the olives and season to taste with salt and pepper.
  4. When the water is boiling, cook the pasta according to the packet instructions.
  5. Continue simmering the sauce while the pasta cooks. If it becomes too dry, take a little of the starchy water the pasta is cooking in and add it to the sauce – it will extend the sauce and give it a glossy sheen.
  6. When the pasta is cooked, drain and divide between plates. Stir the parsley into the sauce and spoon over pasta.
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