Spaghetti Alla Puttanesca

Spaghetti Alla Puttanesca

This spicy dish is a recent invention attributed to a certain Sandro Petti who was a co-owner of a famous Ischian restaurant. In the 1950’s he invented this recipe which has become famous worldwide. It’s easy to make & is very tasty.


Serves 4

75ml/2 1/2fl oz Extra Virgin Olive Oil
4 large peeled garlic cloves left whole
660ml/1pt Passata
3 tablespoons of drained capers
90g/3oz Black Olives, rinsed & pitted
Coarse grained salt
450g/1lb Spaghetti
20 Sprigs of parsley
8 Anchovy fillets, drained of oil
½ Finely chopped red onion
Salt & freshly ground black pepper

Place the oil in a medium sized pot over a medium heat, & when the oil is warm, add the garlic & lightly sauté until it’s lightly golden.

Remove the garlic, add the passata, red onion & cook for 10 minutes over a low heat, stirring occasionally. Add the capers & olives and cook for a further 2 minutes.

Meanwhile, place a large pot of cold water over a medium heat, & when it reaches a boil, add the coarse salt to taste, then add the spaghetti & cook until al dente.

To finish the sauce, finely chop the parsley & cut the anchovies into small pieces & add them to the sauce, mixing well. Cook for a further 2 minutes & season with salt & pepper.

Drain the pasta, transferring it to a large bowl. Pour the sauce over it & mix.

Buon appetito!

Comments (2)

  1. A will try this simple rendition. Is it a modified Siracusana sauce?

    Michael Stanwick
    4th December 2020 Reply
    • Hi Michael, The jury is out on whether it is a modified Siracusana sauce. I prefer this story on how this sauce came about. Annarita Cuomo asserted that sugo alla puttanesca was invented in the 1950s by Sandro Petti, co-owner of Rancio Fellone, a famous Ischian restaurant.
      According to Cuomo, Petti’s moment of inspiration came when—near closing one evening—Petti found a group of customers sitting at one of his tables. He was low on ingredients and told them he did not have enough to make them a meal. They complained that it was late and they were hungry, saying “Facci una puttanata qualsiasi,” meaning “throw together whatever.” Petti had nothing more than four tomatoes, two olives and some capers—the basic ingredients for the sugo, “So I used them to make the sauce for the spaghetti,” Petti told Cuomo. Later, Petti included this dish on his menu as spaghetti alla puttanesca

      4th December 2020 Reply

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.