Spaghetti alla puttanesca

By admin
11 August 2010

This is an old recipe from Naples. Puttana means prostitute in Italian which has resulted in several explanations for the name of the dish. Some say it’s because it’s fast, cheap and hot. Others say it was invented so the prostitutes could enjoy an affordable, quick meal between sessions.

Serves 4

Preparation time: 10 min

Cooking time: 20 min

50 ml olive oil

40 ml butter

3 cloves garlic, finely chopped

4 anchovies

150 g black olives, drained, pitted and halved

1 can (410 g) Italian tomatoes or 350 g fresh cherry

tomatoes, halved

30 ml (2 T) capers, rinsed

½ red chilli, seeded and finely chopped

salt and freshly ground black pepper

500 g spaghetti

30 ml (2 T) chopped fresh parsley

Heat the oil and butter in a large pan over medium heat and sauté the garlic and anchovies until the garlic begins to change colour and the anchovies disintegrate. Add the olives, tomatoes, capers and chilli and simmer for 20 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Meanwhile cook the spaghetti according to the packet instructions. Drain and add the cooked pasta to the sauce in the pan. Simmer for a few minutes and spoon into a warm serving dish or divide among four plates. Scatter parsley on top.


The best quality pasta you can buy is made from 100 per cent durum wheat, a hard grain that produces an elastic, firm pasta that doesn’t easily become soggy when cooked.

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