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5 from 7 votes

Spaghetti Alla Putanesca Recipe

A fantastic Spaghetti alla Puttanesca recipe using fresh cherry tomatoes, capers, olives and garlic it's packed full of flavour and ready in minutes!
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time25 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 411kcal
Author: Emily Kemp


  • 13.4 oz (380g) spaghetti
  • 14 oz (400g) canned plum tomatoes , high quality (I like Cirio)
  • 2 tablespoon capers
  • 1 small handful (1.2 oz/90g) black olives
  • 6 salted anchovy fillets
  • ½ teaspoon chili flakes
  • 1 small bunch parsley
  • 2 smal or 1 large garlic clove , peeled and crushed with the back of a knife
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 small bunch parsley , chopped


  • Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil. Add one tablespoon of olive oil to a large pan with the anchovy fillets and whole garlic clove. Fry for 30-60 seconds until the anchovies start to melt.
  • Add the tomatoes, capers, chilli flakes and olives to the pan and stir together. Add the spaghetti to the pot of water and cook according to packet instructions until al dente (around 8-10 minutes).
  • Stir the tomato mixture occasionally as it starts to thicken ( if the tomatoes reduce too much add a little splash of pasta water and stir. 
  • Once the spaghetti is cooked, lift the spaghetti from the water to the sauce with a spaghetti spoon (this helps emulsify the sauce) and toss, stir add some chopped  parsley. Serve immediately.


Tips and Variations - How To Adapt Puttanesca Sauce

  • Traditionally black olives are used but green would work fine
  • Don't like anchovies? Trust me you can't taste them. The anchovies are used as a seasoning hence why I don't add salt and they aren't fishy in the slightest. I'd urge you still to use them but if you really can't stand it you'll need a good pinch of salt.
  • Use the best quality canned tomatoes possible (I like Cirio). It's really worth the extra few pennies and makes a huge difference to the end result.
  • You can use fresh cherry tomatoes instead of canned tomatoes. I'd use 1lb (450g) cut in half and stew them down with the garlic and anchovies then add the rest of the ingredients. You might need to add a splash of water.
  • I like to keep the garlic whole and then remove it add the end for more subtle garlic flavour. If you want a extra garlic punch, finely chop it or crush it into the sauce.
  • The spice again is a subtle kick (nothing is meant to overpower here) but if you're looking for something spicier feel free to add more dried or fresh.
  • Try adding tuna, it's a popular variation and really delicious.
Nutrition Facts
Spaghetti Alla Putanesca Recipe
Amount Per Serving
Calories 411 Calories from Fat 45
% Daily Value*
Fat 5g8%
Cholesterol 3mg1%
Sodium 144mg6%
Potassium 469mg13%
Carbohydrates 75g25%
Fiber 4g17%
Sugar 5g6%
Protein 14g28%
Vitamin A 920IU18%
Vitamin C 13.9mg17%
Calcium 39mg4%
Iron 1.8mg10%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.


Calories: 411kcal | Carbohydrates: 75g | Protein: 14g | Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 3mg | Sodium: 144mg | Potassium: 469mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 920IU | Vitamin C: 13.9mg | Calcium: 39mg | Iron: 1.8mg