Pasta Puttanesca

Pasta Puttanesca or Pasta alla Puttanesca is a bold and flavorful Italian pasta dish with a name that sparks curiosity. Translating to “whore’s pasta,” the dish is said to have originated in Naples, known for its vibrant and daring cuisine. The name suggests that the dish was quick and easy to prepare, catering to the busy lifestyle of courtesans. Pasta alla Puttanesca is characterized by its robust sauce, featuring ingredients such as tomatoes, olives, capers, garlic, and anchovies. This combination creates a savory and umami-packed sauce that clings to the pasta, making it a memorable and tantalizing experience for the taste buds.


  • Easy

Wine Pairings

  • Not Available

Servings For :

  • 4 People


  • Approximately 30 minutes of preparation and cooking


  • Inexpensive

Italy Region

  • Campania


  • Not Available


  • 400g (about 14 oz) of spaghetti or your preferred pasta
  • 1 can (400g) of crushed tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup of black olives, pitted and sliced
  • 3 tablespoons of capers, rinsed
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 4-6 anchovy fillets, chopped
  • Red pepper flakes, to taste (optional, for heat)
  • Fresh parsley, chopped, for garnish
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and black pepper to taste


  1. In a large pot, bring salted water to a boil. Cook the pasta (spaghetti or your preferred type) according to the package instructions until al dente. Reserve a cup of pasta cooking water before draining.
  2. In a large skillet, heat a generous drizzle of extra virgin olive oil over medium heat. Add the minced garlic and chopped anchovies. Sauté until the garlic becomes fragrant and the anchovies dissolve into the oil.
  3. Add the crushed tomatoes to the skillet, stirring to combine with the garlic and anchovies.
  4. Toss in the sliced black olives and capers, continuing to stir the sauce. If desired, add red pepper flakes for a bit of heat.
  5. Simmer the sauce for about 15-20 minutes, allowing the flavors to meld and the sauce to thicken.
  6. Season the sauce with salt and black pepper to taste.
  7. Once the pasta is cooked, transfer it directly to the skillet with the puttanesca sauce. Toss gently to coat the pasta evenly.
  8. If the sauce is too thick, add a ladle of the reserved pasta cooking water to achieve the desired consistency.
  9. Serve the Pasta alla Puttanesca hot, garnished with chopped fresh parsley.
  10. Enjoy this bold and flavorful dish that embodies the spirited and daring nature of Neapolitan cuisine.

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