Puttanesca Funebra

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves


    , twice

Appears in

Good Food For Bad Days

Good Food For Bad Days

By Jack Monroe

Published 2020

  • About

‘Funebra’ is Italian for ‘Funeral’ – and as far as I am aware, Funereal Puttanesca isn’t yet a dish that exists in mainstream cookery writing or parlance, but I made this with inky black pasta and immediately knew I wanted to make it again. For when you need dinner as black as your heart, as hot as your temper, as salty as your uncried tears, as sour as your mood, this is just the ticket. Throw it together in minutes and marvel briefly at its bewitching blackness, before scoffing the lot with noisy slurps. If you don’t have charcoal pasta to hand – and I admit it is a fairly niche ingredient – you can make a standard puttanesca and just eat it in the dark or something.


  • 100 g onion (about 1 medium onion)
  • 2 fat cloves of garlic
  • 4–6 anchovies from a tin or jar, to taste, plus 1 tbsp of oil
  • 1 x 400 g tin of chopped tomatoes
  • a hefty pinch of chilli flakes
  • a dash of vinegar, any kind
  • 200 g black spaghetti
  • grated cheese, to serve (optional)


First, peel and finely dice your onions, and toss into a large nonstick pan. Peel and finely chop your garlic and add that too. Pour in the anchovies and 1 tablespoon of their oil, add the chopped tomatoes, the chilli and the vinegar and cook for 15 minutes until the sauce is thick and glossy. Remove from the heat and set to one side to cool and settle.

Bring a pan of generously salted water to the boil, then reduce to a simmer. Snap your spaghetti in half – because it’s easier to cook – and add to the pan. Simmer for 8–10 minutes, or according to the packet instructions, until tender. Drain and return to the pan, along with the puttanesca sauce, and warm through briefly to serve. Serve with grated cheese, if you like.

Keeps in a sealed container in the fridge for 2 days; loosen with a dash of oil or basic dressing to prevent the pasta from sticking together before refrigerating. Not recommended for freezing.