Spaghetti alla Puttanesca

Spaghetti with olives, capers and tomatoes

Preparation info
  • Serves


    • Difficulty


Appears in
Pasta Italian Style

By Patricia Lousada

Published 1991

  • About

I was intrigued by this dish when I first came across it in a tiny restaurant in a notorious part of Naples. Its name celebrates the ladies of easy virtue that inhabit such areas-perhaps that’s why it’s so deliciously spicy! I serve it as a luncheon dish, followed by mixed green salad and cheese.


  • 5 tablespoons (5 X 15 ml spoon) olive oil
  • 2 oz (50


Heat the oil and butter in a frying pan. Sauté the garlic and anchovies until the garlic is just beginning to colour. Add the capers, olives and tomatoes. Simmer gently for 20 minutes. Season well to taste. Cook the spaghetti ‘al dente’, drain and pour into the frying pan with the sauce. Cook together for a few minutes, sprinkle with the parsley and serve from the pan or transfer to a heated se