Spaghetti alla Puttanesca

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This is a slightly tangy and somewhat salty Italian pasta dish which have ingredients typical to Southern Italian cuisine like black olives, capers, olive oil, garlic and tomatoes. The sauce used for this pasta dish is called Sugo all Puttanesca in Italian. This dish involves layering of flavors to create a rich tomato based sauce which can be enjoyed with pasta or used as a dipping sauce for bread. Though any type of pasta can be used for this dish, traditionally, it is made with spaghetti. If you love fine Italian cuisine, this is one recipe you should try.

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(1) 1/4 Cup Olive Oil

(2) 1 Small Onion

(3) 5 Large Garlic Cloves

(4) 1/2 Cup Kalamata (Black) Olives (Pitted, halved or left whole)

(5) 1-1/2 Tablespoons Capers

(6) 3 Anchovies Fillets

(7) 1 Chili Pepper (Or 1/2 Teaspoon Chili Flakes) (Or to taste)

(8) 3 Cups Tomato Puree (See Note 1)

(9) 1 Teaspoon Dried Oregano

(10) 2 Teaspoons Chopped Parsley (Or Cilantro)

(11) Parmesan Cheese (Garnish) (Optional)

(12) Spaghetti

(13) Salt (Optional) (See Note 2)












(1) Cans of crushed tomatoes can be used. I however love my ingredients fresh and that is why I am blending my own fresh tomatoes for this recipe. You will need about 7 large tomatoes to get 3 cups.

(2) Salt is optional because the black olives, capers and anchovies are already quite salty. Add salt at the end only if needed.










(1) Chop onions, garlic and anchovies. Blend tomatoes if using fresh tomatoes.









(2) Heat olive oil in a sauce pan. Add onions and saute until onions are soft. About 2 minutes.

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(3) Add chopped garlic and saute for 5 minutes or until garlic is brown but not burnt.

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(4) Add olives, anchovies, capers and pepper to sauce and saute for 2 minutes.

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(5) Add tomato puree and dried oregano. Stir and bring back to a boil. Reduce heat to medium, cover sauce pan and cook for 40 minutes.

















(6) meanwhile, boil spaghetti in water until al dente and drain. See how to cook pasta perfectly here.









(7) When sauce is ready, taste for seasoning and adjust if needed.

Sugo alla Puttanesca

Sugo alla Puttanesca









(8) Serve sauce on pasta and garnish with chopped parsley and grated Parmesan cheese. Alternatively, mix sauce with pasta and garnish.

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For other pasta dishes, check here.


Terry Adido is passionate about showing people how easy it is to recreate restaurant quality meals in the comfort of their kitchens. With a style of cooking he refers to as Afro-European Fusion, his meals are influenced greatly by French and Italian Cuisine with a West African twist. If you love good food, you are in for the ride of your life.

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