Primi Piatti: Pasta, Rice, Soups

Spaghetti with Puttanesca Sauce

This sauce is very well known in Naples and its area around, but seems to have been conceived only very recently, around 1950. To understand the exact origin of this recipe, it’s important to get its name:
‘puttanesca’ comes from a very well-known swear word that is used to refer to prostitutes. It’s unclear what prostitution would have to do with a pasta sauce. Was it maybe a dish served in brothels?
What we do know, is that this sauce is delicious and very quick to prepare: perfect for any day of the week.

Then the age-old dilemma: dry oregano or fresh parsley? Actually both are fine. You choose the one you prefer. We prefer it with oregano.

Serves: 2 | Preparation time: 10 mins | Cooking time: 10 mins

  • Spaghetti, 180 g
  • Cherry tomatoes or Tomato sauce: 250 g
  • Pitted black olives: 70 g
  • Capers: 25 g
  • (optional) Chili pepper: 1
  • Anchovy in olive oil: 3 fillets
  • Garlic: 2 cloves
  • Oregano, dried: 1 tbsp – or fresh chopped parsley, a handful
  • Extra virgin olive oil (EVOO): 3 tbsp
  • Salt: to taste


Peel the garlic. Slice most of the olives. Drain capers and dry them with some kitchen paper.

Brown the garlic in 3 tbsp of Evoo, add the anchovy fillets which will melt. Add chilli pepper if you want, then whole cherry tomatoes or tomato sauce, capers. Cook for 10 minutes over medium heat. Add oregano and stir.

Bring a pot of salted water to the boil, then pour the spaghetti and cook for about 8 mins.

Drain spaghetti, season with Puttanesca Sauce and serve.

Tip: The cherry tomatoes will gradually become more and more tender in the pan. If you don’t like the idea of the tomatoes’ skin, you can previously blanch them 2-3 minutes then peel them or add them as they are in the pan and peel them after cooking.

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