Loretta Sebastiani

Loretta Sebastiani
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Puttanesca spaghetti
( Spaghetti alla puttanesca )

Authentic Italian recipe of Naples or Rome

Puttanesca spaghetti. Who does not know this dish? In Italy we still wonder whether it belongs to the Neapolitan or Roman tradition. Read the story below to satisfy your curiosity. Puttanesca spaghetti is tasty, easy and quick-to-prepare recipe. The ingredients you need are typically Mediterranean: San Marzano tomatoes, capers, anchovies, black olives, garlic, parsley and, of course, olive oil. Match Fiano d'Avellino, Campania wine particularly suitable. Read also my full menu idea, Italian style.

difficulty: easy

time: 35 minutes

calories: 407 (kCal)

Ingredients / Serves 4

  • 300g (10 1/2 ounces) fresh ripe tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 6 anchovy fillets in oil, broken-up
  • 20g (3/4 ounce) capers in vinegar, drained and chopped
  • 100g (3 1/2 ounces) black olives, stoned and sliced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh (or frozen) parsley, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, if liked
  • 280g (10 ounces) spaghetti
  • Salt
  • 1 hot chili pepper, if liked
easy recipe
preparation: 10 minutes
cooking: 25 minutes
total time: 35 minutes
How many calories in a serving?
Calories: 407 (kcal) 21 % - 1703 (kJ)
Protein: 11.1 (g) 23 % GDA
Total fat: 15.8 (g) 23 % GDA
Total carbohydrate: 58.6 (g) 22 % GDA
Sugars: 6.1 (g) 7 % GDA

Download free PDF version (205 download).

Puttanesca spaghetti recipe

Preparation and cooking

  • - Prepare puttanesca sauce.
    Blanch, peel and seed fresh tomatoes.
    If you have little time or you haven't found fresh tomatoes, you can use pelati (canned peeled whole tomatoes).
    Put olive oil, anchovies, capers, chopped tomatoes, olives and hot chili pepper in a frying pan.
    Cook over a fierce heat, stirring now and then, 5 to 10 minutes.
    Remove from heat. Season to taste with salt.
    Your puttanesca sauce is ready.
  • - Meanwhile cook your spaghetti al dente stage.
    Remember to follow the directions on the package to cook correctly the pasta or our instructions to have the best result. Link below.

Just before serving

  • - Drain spaghetti.
  • - Transfer them into the pan with puttanesca sauce and flavor for few seconds on fierce heat, stirring with delicacy.
  • - Serve puttanesca spaghetti hot and sprinkled with parsley, finely chopped, on the top.



  • - You can modify this recipe adding mushrooms or tuna or red and yellow sweet pepper (capsicum) or what you want to the basic ingredients.
  • - In some recipes you could find butter together with olive oil.
    I prefer to use only extra virgin olive oil because I like much more low fat recipes.
  • - Some people prefer to use anchovies in salt in puttanesca spaghetti.
  • - If you don't like raw parsley you can add it to pasta sauce just before turning off the stove.
  • - There is the version of puttanesca pasta with linguini too. Choose the pasta you prefer.

Menu planning

  • - You can cook puttanesca spaghetti for your family menu or a get-together with your friends.
    Here's a typical full Italian menu. ll links to recipes below!
    Starter: choose a traditional Italian antipasto. You can find a lot of ideas in our page dedicated to Italian antipasto but our tip is a typical Umbrian assorted antipasto platter, full of salami and cheese :)
    First course: puttanesca spaghetti
    Second course: veal marsala accompanied by potatoes or seasonal salad
    Finally a cake. In our page for cake and dessert recipes you can find your favorite. I suggest a fruit tart with seasonal fresh fruit.

Useful links for this recipe

  • - Here's the recipe for Umbrian antipasto platter. Perfect to begin all traditional Italian menus with meat as main ingredient.
  • - I mentioned veal marsala too. Follow the link for recipe directions.
  • - Finally, this is the link for fruit tart recipe. Choose fresh fruit in season.
  • - Want to know more about Italian pasta and its nutrition value? or interested in the correct way to cook pasta?

Healthy eating

  • - Daily menu. Puttanesca spaghetti is rich in ingredients and so my tip is to serve only a vegetable dish as second course. Raw or cooked vegetables dressed only with a teaspoon of olive oil per head. Complete your meal with fresh fruits.
    Here are the doses per head: 70g (2 1/2 ounces) spaghetti, 25g (1 ounce) olives, 2 little anchovy fillets in oil, 1 teaspoon capers in vinegar, less than 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil, aromatic herbs.
  • - Special occasion menu. Don't worry about fat, calories, sugars ... it happens rarely, doesn't it? In this case the doses are enough for more people ( it can serve 6 people)
  • - If you want to drink a glass of wine remember you have to add 80-85 calories per 100 ml.
  • - I remember you my original home recipes can be made without salt; there is a combination of flavors that substitutes salt.
  • - If you are interested in other Italian recipes, look well at the green navigation bar at the top of the page. Go back to Italian cooking where you can find all the directories dedicated to food and recipes.


What's the right wine for " Puttanesca spaghetti "?

Carlo and I like very much to pair Fiano d'Avellino (a wine from Campania - Italy) with this puttanesca spaghetti dish.

A little history

This dish (puttanesca spaghetti) has an embarassing name; it's dedicated to a sinner! Somebody says it has aphrodisiac properties. Certainly everyone knows how much tasty it is.
Its origin goes back to the twentieth century. It may be born at Ischia island. But in Italy both Neapolitans and Romans claim paternity of the dish ;)))