Italian Recipes: “Puttanesca” Pasta Sauce

PuttanescaToday on our weekly chapter of Italian Recipes we offer you to try authentic italian recipe of Spaghetti alla puttanesca (literally “whore’s style spaghetti” in Italian). Spaghetti alla puttanesca is a tangy, somewhat salty Italian pasta dish invented in the mid-20th century. The ingredients are typical of Southern Italian cuisine: tomatoes, olive oil, olives, capers, and garlic. There are several theories to explain its name “whore’s pasta”, one being that the ladies who worked in the brothels (state-owned, by the way, in the 1950s) only had one day a week in which to do their grocery shopping. They came up with specialities using ingredients that would always be in the larder.

Puttanesca Pasta Sauce is a great, quick pasta sauce to make while your pasta is cooking.


• 1 chilli pepper
• 1 clove garlic, minced
• 2 tsp capers, rinsed and drained
• 20-25 black olives
• 1 anchovy fillet (optional)
• 300 ml bottled or canned crushed tomato
• Pinch dried oregano
• Olive oil, parmesan cheese


• Stir fry the chilli pepper, garlic, capers, anchovy if using and olives in a good swirl of olive oil (1 minute).
• Add the crushed tomato and oregano and bring to the boil.
• Turn down the heat and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
• Serve with al dente pasta. Add parmesan cheese if you wish.