Spaghetti alla Puttanesca -- Spaghetti with Anchovies, Olives, Capers




3 cups Italian plum tomatoes, with juice, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup 1 plus tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
6 anchovy fillets, chopped
1/2 tsp. garlic, finely chopped
2 tsp. oregano, chopped
2 tbsp. capers
12 to 14 black olives, pitted and coarsely chopped


Add the scant ½ cup olive oil to a large skillet, and heat over a low heat. Add anchovies and cook until the anchovies dissolve. Add the garlic and cook for about 30 seconds, being careful not to brown the garlic.

Raise the heat to a medium-high heat and add the tomatoes and juice, with a pinch of salt. When the sauce comes to a boil, turn down the heat and simmer until the tomatoes have reduced and separated from the oil, about 20-30 minutes.

In the meantime, cook the spaghetti according to directions supplied with the pasta.

Back to the sauce! Add the oregano, capers and black olives to the sauce and have it on a medium heat. When the pasta is al dente drain, toss with sauce in the skillet over low heat. Add the remaining tablespoon of olive oil. Taste for salt and pepper and serve at once with a generous helping of parmesan cheese.

Author's Comments

This is a very simplistic sauce and a fairly quick dish for those evenings when all seems rushed. Serve with some warm, crusty Italian bread (picked up at the local Salumeria on the way home), a glass of Chianti Wine and enjoy the evening. Puttanesca is one of my favorite ways to have Spaghetti. Some say the word Puttanesca come from the word Puttana, or to put it mildly, a lady of the evening! Puttanesca is a cooking term and has no origins, that I am aware of, in any other respect.

From my cookbook, The "Old Country" Italian Cookbook, by Donald J.P. La Marca

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