Spaghetti with Capers, Chilli and Anchovies

 This pasta is a quick family favourite found on the streets of Rome – literally since ‘puttanesca’ means ‘prostitute-style’. Name aside, it remains a delicious dish that you can adapt to suit you. In the version imaged above, the basil I have added is atypical – all classic pasta dishes from Rome contain no herbs, as is the use of fettacine and parmesan! Also, don’t let the addition of anchovies deter you as they are broken down into the base of the sauce. They add an incredible richness and flavour to the sauce that no anchovy-hater will detect if you don’t tell them!

Serves: 4
Preparation Time: Around 15-20 minutes


+ 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
+ 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
+ 6 anchovy fillets in oil, drained and finely chopped
+ 1 red chilli, finely chopped
+ 400 g roma tomatoes, peeled and seeded or 1 x 400 g tin peeled tomatoes
+ 150 g black olives, pitted and roughly chopped
+ 1 tablespoon capers in salt, rinsed and dried
+ sea salt
+ 400 g spaghetti


Heat the olive oil in a heavy-based frying pan over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook for about a minute until just golden, stirring with a wooden spoon. Add the anchovies and chilli, stirring them through the oil for another minute. 

Puree the tomatoes in a blender. Add to the pan with the olives and capers, season to taste with the salt. Mix well. Cook for 10-15 minutes, stirring regularly. 

In the meantime, cook the spaghetti in plenty of boiling salted water until al dente. Drain, then add to the sauce and toss for 30 seconds. Serve immediately. 

Original recipe from The Art of Pasta.

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