Spaghetti alla puttanesca

Anna del Conte presents her easy recipe for classic Italian favourite, Spaghetti alla puttanesca. This dish, served with tomatoes, anchovies and olives is full of flavour.


This is one of the dishes we cook when we do not know what else to have; it is easy, quick
and delicious, and also handy, because all the necessary ingredients are always around.
Unless I have very good fresh tomatoes, I prefer to use a good brand of tinned chopped
tomatoes. And Coco does the same now that she cooks puttanesca by herself. We have
compared the two and decided that the puttanesca with tinned tomatoes is better. Often,
when I make spaghetti alla puttanesca I add an extra 100g of pasta so that there is some
left over for Coco to take home and make a small pasta frittata all for herself the next
day, which she loves.

Serves 4


500g ripe tomatoes, skinned, seeded and chopped, or 400g tin chopped tomatoes
5 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
350g spaghetti
1 small fresh chilli, seeded and fi nely chopped (or more, depending on strength and taste)
4 salted anchovies, cleaned and chopped, or 8 anchovy fi llets, drained and chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
2 tbsp capers, rinsed and dried
100g black olives, stoned
2 tbsp chopped fl at-leaf parsley, to garnish
sea salt, to taste


If you are using fresh tomatoes, fry them in a saucepan in ½ tablespoon of the oil for 5 minutes. If you are using tinned tomatoes, fry them for 3 minutes, turning them over frequently.

Drop the pasta into a pan of fast-boiling, salted water and cook until al dente. Meanwhile, put a frying pan on the heat, large enough to hold the pasta later, add the remaining oil, the chilli, anchovies and garlic and fry over a low heat for 2 minutes, mashing the anchovies to a paste with a fork or a wooden spoon.

Spoon in the tomatoes and, after 2 minutes, add the capers and olives. Time for Coco to taste and check the seasoning. It might need a little salt. Mix well and, as soon as the pasta is done, drain it and throw it in the puttanesca pan. Stir-fry for 2–3 minutes, shower with the parsley, mix and serve.

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