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Spaghetti alla Puttanesca

Spaghetti alla Puttanesca

The recipe for a classic Southern Italian dish: Spaghetti alla Puttanesca, made with tomatoes, olives and capers!

Course Main
Cuisine Italian
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 4
Author Manuela Zangara


  • 370 gms – 13 oz. spaghetti
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 5-6 anchovies
  • 1 garlic clove chopped
  • 1 tsp chilly flakes or to taste
  • 500 gms – 1 lb. tomatoes fresh or tinned, peeled and diced
  • 100 gms – ½ cup black olives sliced
  • 1 tbsp capers washed
  • 2 tbsp parsley chopped
  • Salt to taste


  1. Put the extra virgin olive oil, chopped garlic, chilly flakes and anchovies in a pan.  Sauté on a medium flame for a couple of minutes, breaking the anchovies with a wooden spoon so that they melt.  Make sure the garlic doesn’t burn or your sauce will become bitter.
  2. As soon as the anchovies melt, add the tomatoes, black olives and capers. If you are using fresh tomatoes, you may have to add a little water to help the sauce cook.
  3. Cook for 10 – 15 minutes on a slow flame, then put the fire off.
  4. In the meantime, cook the pasta following the steps on How to cook pasta “al dente” in the Techniques page of this site, but drain it 1 minute before it is cooked, as it will finish cooking together with the sauce.  Put the drained pasta in the frying pan with the sauce, add the chopped parsley and mix it well while cooking it on a slow flame for 1 or 2 minutes.
  5. Serve immediately and eat hot!