Spaghetti Alla Putanesca

A beautiful pantry pasta originating from Naples consisting of garlic, capers, olives and spaghetti. It’s packed with zestiness from the olive and capers, heat from the chilli, and then salt from the anchovies. Lemon and cheese is not normally added in and not necessary, but if you have these at home, a bit on top is welcomed! Fresh basil to serve is necessary!
I’ve paired this pasta with a Nero D’Avola, a medium/full bodied Sicilian wine that’s bold, fruity and acidic, basically the same flavours of Puttanesca. Serve in a big glass like @monverre’s Roma glasses. The tulip-shaped bowl glass captures all the nuances of the wine's aroma.
Serves- 2
Ingredients- 12
Cooking Time- 20 minutes
Skill Level- Easy


  • 200g of spaghetti
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon of chilli oil or a pinch of chilli flakes
  • 4 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 anchovy slices, finely chopped or 2 teaspoons of anchovy paste
  • 2 teaspoons of capers
  • 1 can of diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup of your choice of olives, pitted
  • 1 small bunch of basil
  • 2 sprigs of oregano, optional
  • 1 teaspoon of grated lemon zest, optional
  • 1 tablespoon worth of finely grated pecorino or parmesan cheese, optional
Watch the process

  1. Boil a pot of generously salted (approx 2 tablespoons) water and place 200g of pasta in to cook until al dente for about 5-7 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, finely slice 4 cloves of garlic.
  3. Heat a large pan with 2 Tbsp of olive oil and once shimmering, add in the garlic, 2 anchovies, 1 tsp of chilli oil and 2 tsp of capers. Cook for 2 minutes on medium to low heat.
  4. Add in 1 can of diced tomatoes, 1/2 cup of olives and an optional handful of chopped basil and oregano. Bring to the boil and then turn down to a simmer for 5 minutes.
  5. Once the spaghetti is al dente, transfer from the pot directly into the pan, pour in ½ cup of the starchy pasta water and toss till the water and oil emulsifies into a sauce.
  6. Transfer to a platter and garnish with some optional lemon zest and cheese. Top with fresh basil leaves before serving with a glass of your favourite wine.

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