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Quick & tasty spaghetti with a tomato, garlic, and olive sauce, topped with salty capers and olives – Spaghetti Puttanesca!

There are recipes whose flavor is given not only by the simple and wise mix of ingredients, but also by the legends that accompany them, such as fettuccine Alfredo, spaghetti alla Nerano, arrabbiata or the famous puttanesca! The unique flavor of spaghetti alla puttanesca is given by the savory condiment that envelops them: peeled tomatoes, Gaeta olives, capers, and anchovy fillets. But it is also the unusual name of the pasta that makes it even more delicious and arouses curiosity about its origins, contested between Lazio and Campania. The spiciest and most imaginative stories place them in the environments of brothels as a quick dish to prepare with few and simple ingredients. Others trace it back to the culinary fantasies of Antonio De Curtis, aka Totò. Still, others attribute the first forkful of spaghetti alla puttanesca to Ischia in the famous Rangio Fellone restaurant around the ’50s: here they would have been prepared with what was left in the pantry, and the colorful term would indicate precisely the type of improvised, easy, and very quick preparation. Since then, it seems to have become part of the restaurant’s menu and has also spread beyond the island as one of the first courses of traditional Italian cuisine.

Spaghetti alla puttanesca INGREDIENTS

INGREDIENTS 471 Calories per serving


Peeled tomatoes800g

25g anchovies in oil

10g salted capers

1 bunch parsley

100g Gaeta olives

3 cloves of garlic

2 dried chillies

30g extra virgin olive oil

Fine salt q.b.

Calories for spaghetti alla puttanesca

Difficulty: Easy Preparation: 20 min Cooking: 20 min Portions: 4 people Cost: Low

Spaghetti alla puttanesca PREPARATION

How to prepare spaghetti alla puttanesca

To make puttanesca sauce, first rinse the capers under running water to remove excess salt 1, then dry them and coarsely chop with a knife 2. Take the pitted Gaeta olives and mash them with the knife blade 3.

Wash, dry, and chop the parsley 4. Put a pot full of salted water on the heat to cook the pasta. In a large pan, pour the oil, the peeled whole garlic cloves, the chopped dried chilli 5, and the anchovies 6.

Add the desalted capers 7. Sauté over medium heat for 5 minutes, stirring often, so that the anchovies melt and all the aromas are released. At this point, add the slightly crushed peeled tomatoes 8, stir with a spoon and cook for another 10 minutes over medium heat. In the meanwhile, cook the spaghetti al dente 9.

When the sauce is ready, remove the garlic cloves 10 and add the mashed olives 11. Flavor the sauce with fresh chopped parsley 12.

When the pasta is al dente, drain it directly into the pan 13 and sauté for half a minute, just enough time to blend all the flavors 14. Spaghetti alla puttanesca is ready to serve hot 15!


We recommend consuming spaghetti alla puttanesca immediately. If there is any leftover, you can store it in the refrigerator covered with plastic wrap for one day.

Freezing is not recommended.


Spaghetti alla puttanesca is already quite savory, so we recommend not adding any more salt to the sauce.

During the period when tomatoes are in season, you can make a good fresh sauce.

Also, try the variant with fresh cherry tomatoes, anchovies, and onions!