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Spaghetti Alla Puttanesca

Spaghetti alla puttanesca (literal translation: spaghetti as a prostitute would prepare) is a spicy, tangy and somewhat salty Italian pasta from the area of Naples. It is inexpensive and and typically Mediterranean.


  • 6-8 tbs olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 pound tomatoes
  • 15-20 black olives, pitted
  • 3 tbs capers, or to taste
  • 3 ounces salted anchovies fillets, chopped (vegetarian solution: add instead of anchovies the double amount of capers)
  • 1 tsp hot chili
  • 1 tsp oregano, if possible fresh and finely chopped
  • 2-3 sprigs parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 1/4 pounds spaghetti
  • salt



  1. Sauté the fine chopped garlic with the anchovies in olive oil.
  2. Add the peeled and chopped tomatoes, bring to a boil, stirring occasionally, then reduce to a simmer.
  3. Add capers, olives, chili, oregano and some freshly ground pepper.
  4. Cook at simmer for 15-20 minutes.
  5. While the sauce is cooking bring a pot of generously salted water to a boil, add the spaghetti and cook them until "al dente" (firm but not hard, soft but with a "bite").


Before serving add the parsley to the sauce.

Salt may not be needed because the anchovies are quite salty, if you leave them away and use more capers instead add salt to taste.

Drain the spaghetti, dress with the sauce and serve.


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