Pasta alla Puttanesca

This great Italian classic is easy to make and ready in just 20 minutes, making the ideal last-minute dinner, as well as a tasty main course for your family and friends.

Servings

4

Ready In:

310min

Calories:

324

Good For:

Sunday Lunch

About this Recipe

By: Silvana Lanzetta

Puttanesca sauce is one of the pillars of traditional Italian cuisine, with to cities that claim to be its birthplace: Rome and Naples. The difference between the two recipes is that the Roman version contains anchovies, whereas in Naples we don’t. Indeed we just call it pasta “aulive e cchjapparielle”, which is Neapolitan for olives and capers.

With or without anchovies, puttanesca sauce is very simple to make and extremely tasty. The main ingredients are garlic, Gaeta’s olives (or any juicy black olives such as Kalamata olives), capers, chilli, tomato sauce.

The origins of this recipe date back to the XIX century and the name indicates that it was first created in a red light district to feed the workers and their customers. In his book “Naples at the table”, the food critic Arthur Schwartz tells us that the origins of the puttanesca sauce are to be located at the beginning of the XX century in Naples, in the Spanish Quarters area, where there used to be a certain number of pleasure houses.

Puttanesca sauce

Ingredients

  • 360cgr of spaghetti, bucatini, or penne
  • 1 can of chopped tomatoes
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 100 gr of black olives (Gaeta or Kalamata)
  • 50 gr of capers
  • 4 anchovy fillets (optional)
  • 2 tbsp of extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tiny pinch of crushed chilli
  • Salt to taste

Despite its unconventional origins, puttanesca sauce is a staple in all Italian tables, and for a very good reason: it’s easy and quick to make, and it tastes delicious. It doesn’t matter whether you prefer the Roman version with anchovies or the vegan Neapolitan version (I prefer it with anchovies, and I am Neapolitan!), just try it and I am sure it will become very soon one of your favourite family dinners.

Traditionally puttanesca sauce is served without grated cheese, as the strong flavours of the capers and olives clashes with it.

To make your sauce even tastier, start to flavour the oil a couple of hours before serving the pasta. Follow the recipe until step 2, then take the pan off the heat, cover, and set aside. By allowing to rest for a couple of hours, the oil will absorb all the flavours from the garlic, anchovies, and capers, resulting in an amazingly flavourful puttanesca sauce.

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Nutrition

The following values are for one portion according to the recipe, including anchovies. To reduce the number of fats, you might want to reduce the quantities of olives and remove the anchovies.

  • Proteins 13% 13%
  • Carbs 56% 56%
  • Fats 31% 31%
spaghetti puttanesca sauce

Step by Step Instructions

Step 1

To make a delicious puttanesca sauce, start by slowly heating the oil, the crushed garlic and the chilli in a non-stick deep pan. After about 5 minutes, add the anchovy fillets, if using, and cook until they melt.

Step 2

Stir in the capers and the olives, and cook at medium heat for another 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Step 3

Add the canned tomato, raise the heat and bring to boil. Lower the heat as soon as the sauce starts to bubble, and simmer for 10–15 minutes. Salt to taste.

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Step 4

Meanwhile, in a large pot, bring salted water to boil. Cook the pasta of your choice according to the instruction. When cooked, before draining it, save a ladleful of its cooking water.

Step 5

Drain the pasta al dente and tip it in the pot with the sauce. Add the ladleful of the cooking water, and sauté for a couple of minutes, until the water has evaporated. Serve immediately.

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Spaghetti Puttanesca

Spaghetti alla puttanesca


  • Author: Silvana
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 4 portions 1x

Description

This great Italian classic is easy to make and ready in just 20 minutes, making the ideal last-minute dinner, as well as a tasty main course for your family and friends.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 360cgr of spaghetti, bucatini, or penne
  • 1 can of chopped tomatoes
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 100 gr of black olives (Gaeta or Kalamata)
  • 50 gr of capers
  • 4 anchovy fillets (optional)
  • 2 tbsp of extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tiny pinch of crushed chilli
  • Salt to taste

Instructions

  1. To make a delicious puttanesca sauce, start by slowly heating the oil, the crushed garlic and the chilli in a non-stick deep pan. After about 5 minutes, add the anchovy fillets, if using, and cook until they melt.
  2. Stir in the capers and the olives, and cook at medium heat for another 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Add the canned tomato, raise the heat and bring to boil. Lower the heat as soon as the sauce starts to bubble, and simmer for 10–15 minutes. Salt to taste.
  4. Meanwhile, in a large pot, bring salted water to boil. Cook the pasta of your choice according to the instruction. When cooked, before draining it, save a ladleful of its cooking water.
  5. Drain the pasta al dente and tip it in the pot with the sauce. Add the ladleful of the cooking water, and sauté for a couple of minutes, until the water has evaporated. Serve immediately.
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Category: Pasta
  • Cuisine: Italian
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