Spaghetti alla Puttanesca

spaghetti alla puttanescaAs someone who didn’t like olives as little as 3 years ago, it’s pretty astounding that Spaghetti alla Puttanesca has become my all time favorite pasta dish. There’s something so delicious about the combination of flavors that tickle all the taste buds. If you haven’t tried it before and are wary of any of the ingredients, anchovies included, there’s really nothing to worry about. Everything blends together so beautifully you won’t be able to pick out any offending flavors. That doesn’t sound like a compliment of the dish, no stand out flavors, but trust me, I mean it in a really good way even though I’m not expressing it well lol.

spaghetti alla puttanesca

The first time I fell in love with olives, I was in Italy. Not very surprising is it? lol The home of olives and olive oil, I was being served olives at every meal without even being asked if I wanted them, they would just show up. At first I was hesitant, but after long days walking in the hot heat of summer, I was ready to stuff anything in my face. So I dove into the olives and was surprised to find they were nothing like the nasty canned black olives of my youth. They were absolutely delicious, I could not get enough. So when I heard about Puttanesca, a dish full of olives, I was finally ready to dive in.

Spaghetti alla Puttanesca

Spaghetti alla Puttanesca


  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 5 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 28 ounce can of whole peeled tomatoes, or whatever you have
  • 1 white onion, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup Kalamata olives, chopped, pitted
  • 1/4 cup Castelvetrano (green) olives, chopped, pitted
  • 3 anchovy fillets, chopped
  • 1 1/2 tbsp drained capers
  • 1 tsp dried or fresh oregano
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp dried or fresh basil
  • 3/4 lb pasta
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil, cook pasta to al dente, retain a small amount of cooking water
  2. Meanwhile add olive oil to a medium sauce pot, saute onion and garlic until translucent
  3. Add all remaining ingredients and bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes
  4. Add salt and pepper to taste
  5. Move the cooked pasta to the pot of sauce and stir to coat, add a small amount of pasta waste, plate and serve
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There’s no way you don’t love this recipe, and the best thing about it? It tastes even better the next day! In the finest italian restaurants in the world, there’s no way they would serve you pasta sauce that was created the same day as it was made. My allowing it to sit for a day or two, the flavors and the acid in the tomatoes have time to chill out and meld together. They intensify and mellow at the same time. It’s really fabulous. I’m actually about to put my leftovers on some pizza dough, talk about YUM!

I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I do, you’ll be making it weekly if you do.

with love from alexandra napoli

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