Sunday Pasta®: Spaghetti alla Puttanesca (Whore’s Style)

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Sunday Pasta Spaghetti alla Puttanesca 5 640

This is a difficult subject to broach in any context, but particularly so in a prim and proper family blog such as this, where it would be absolutely gauche to mention Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Elliot Spitzer, or their libertine friends.  But if you-know-what is the world’s oldest profession, then spaghetti puttanesca must be the world’s oldest pasta recipe.  And there is no shame in that.  In fact, those working girls who created it really did know a little something about spicy, cheap, and easy.  A touch of this, a handful of that, with a little bite, and a big kick, this dish delivers every time.  No questions asked.  Satisfaction guaranteed. 

So judge not, lest ye be judged! In my humble opinion, spaghetti puttanesca makes up for at least few of their sins.  Now invite your friends and enjoy!  (But please don’t use taxpayers’ money.)

Buon Appetito!

Ed Garrubbo

p.s.  Check out our wine pairings to complement this dish.

Sunday Pasta ®: Spaghetti alla Puttanesca

Total Time: 45 minutes

Serves: 4-6

Sunday Pasta <sup>®</sup>: Spaghetti alla Puttanesca


6 anchovy filets
3 gloves of garlic
½ cup olive oil
½ cup black olives, pitted and chopped
1 28 ounce can peeled tomatoes, drained and chopped (or 6 tomatoes peeled and seeded)
2 tablespoons capers
1 tablespoon Italian parsley, chopped


Finely chop the anchovies and garlic. (Alternatively, you can use a mortar and pestle or press them through a garlic press.) Heat oil in a large frying pan, and add the garlic and anchovy paste. When the garlic begins to turn golden, add the tomatoes, olives and capers. Cook on medium heat for 15-20 minutes, until reduced. Meanwhile, cook the spaghetti until al dente. Drain it, and mix thoroughly in the pan with the sauce.

Sprinkle with chopped parsley and serve immediately.

Edwin Garrubbo

Edwin Garrubbo

Ed Garrubbo has been studying, cooking, searching for, and thinking about la cucina italiana for as long as he can remember. He cooks a wide range of Italian dishes, but loves his pasta most. He visits restaurants, cooking schools, markets, and food artisans across Italy, and wherever Italians practice their craft. He is a member of the Accademia Italiana della Cucina, and is a citizen of both the United States and Italy.

5 Responses to Sunday Pasta®: Spaghetti alla Puttanesca (Whore’s Style)

  1. NYPD says:

    Definitely a bold flavored recipe. The fish and the garlic gives it that flavor & kick.

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  2. Edwin Garrubbo Edwin Garrubbo says:

    Right. I add extra! Ed

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  3. Norma Courrier says:

    One of my favorites and made it for years. Now being on this “almost” fat free diet for past 5 months or so, so can’t have it. Can now only use a tiny bit of olive oil for taste (1/4 teaspoon or less). Using Spray fat free olive oil, just doesn’t make it. I have had to get very creative with my cooking and getting truly bored. Any ideas?

    Hopefully, one day I can have it all again when my gall bladder stops reacting. Oh well, this too will pass!! So weird since I rarely ate fried food or really fatty food.

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  4. John Pierre Dormido says:

    I love basil and I was wondering if adding it would make the recipe less authentic Italian. Thanks.

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