If I had to choose only one pasta dish to ever eat again, it would be Spaghetti alla Puttanesca. Ready in 15 minutes and bursting with rich and intense flavours, I kid you not when I say I am nigh addicted to this incredibly rich dish.
My first introduction to Spaghetti alla Puttanesca came via Nigella Lawson who calls it Sluts Spaghetti in her book Kitchen. Instantly attracted to the rich flavours held within her recipe, I knew I had to make it myself. However, try as I may I just couldn’t get the sauce to taste how I imagined it should taste. It’s incredibly rare I have had to throw away any of my cooking, and to date, my original attempts at Puttanesca is one of only two.
Fast forwards a few years and I found myself in a quaint Italian restaurant in central London. Upon seeing Puttanesca on their menu, I knew there was no other option as I still dreamed of this pasta dish yet had never tried it due to my previous failed attempts.
It was delicious, divine, and dreamy.
Having finally tasted an authentic version of spaghetti alla puttanesca, I returned to my kitchen and tried again – finally with great success! It has since become a staple in my home, and I always have the ingredients on hand. Given the ingredients for spaghetti alla puttanesca all have long shelf lives, and many are pantry staples, it’s a simple recipe to whip up as and when needed. Which for me is every other week!
Let’s talk Ingredients…
Anchovies: It might be tempting to dismiss this ingredient, however they are an essential part of the recipe. Anchovies don’t taste like fish nor the ocean when cooked into this sauce, but instead create a deep saltiness which elevates the entire sauce. When cooked in warm oil, anchovy fillets seemingly melt into nothingness and infuses the oil with its flavour.
Chilli: I use minced chili from a jar for this, simply because it’s easier. You can add more, or less, chilli according to how much heat you can handle.
Tomatoes: When using tinned tomatoes, try to buy a variety that doesn’t feature additional herbs and spices. I always try to opt for brands that I know offer a good quality tomato that isn’t too watery.
Capers: Capers typicall come in a brine and are an unusual, tangy flavour on their own.
Olives: I use pitted kalamata olives however any olive should suffice. You can add more or less according to your preference.
Spaghetti alla Puttanesca
- 200g spaghetti
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 3 anchovy fillets
- 1 tsp chilli, minced
- 1 tsp garlic, minced
- 400g diced tomatoes, tinned
- 1 tbsp capers
- 1/2 cup black olives
- Salt, to season
- Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
- Add anchovies and break down into the oil using a wooden spoon.
- Stir through the chilli and garlic, and cook for 1 minute.
- Add the tomatoes, capers and olives and season with a pinch of salt.
- Simmer for 10 minutes to thicken, stirring occasionally, whilst the pasta cooks.
- Cook pasta in well-salted water according to packet directions, less one minute.
- Drain the pasta and then stir through the sauce, simmering for 1-2 minutes or until pasta is cooked al dente.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 596Total Fat: 31.9gSaturated Fat: 6.4gCholesterol: 78mgmgSodium: 864mgCarbohydrates: 63.5gFiber: 1.3gSugar: 0gProtein: 15.7g