Pasta alla Puttanesca (Slut’s Spaghetti)

According to Nigella’s blog where I got the recipe, this delicious pasta which originated from Napoli in Italy is said to have been prepared by prostitutes who didn’t have time to go to the market for fresh produce and needed to prepare their dish quickly in between their clients..whether that’s true or not, it doesn’t matter to me, this dish is simply delicious and a quickie to prepare! 

From now on I’m going to stock my pantry with anchovy fillet, black olives and capers ( hope I can find it) so I can make this hot and spicy pasta anytime I want or need to with some salad greens and bruschetta on the side..dinner is ready! 🙂


saute garlic, anchovy fillet and chilli flakes in EVOO (Extra-virgin olive oil)


open a can of diced tomatoes and add it in


add cooked spaghetti; mix well and serve! 


notice the difference from the first photo? I made this with tomato sauce because I ran out of diced tomatoes..(note: diced tomatoes is better).  Try serving it with a squeeze of lemon juice, just a little and with a little soft cream cheese… but only if you have some because it’s not really necessary, and it’s not in the recipe but it’s super -yum! 

recipe by Nigella Lawson

serves 3-4 persons
note: I halved the original recipe bec it’s too much for the size of my family.

2 tablespoons olive oil
6 anchovy fillets, drained and finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely sliced, crushed or grated
1 teaspoon crushed chilli flakes, or to taste
250g spaghetti
1 cup canned diced tomatoes
75g (drained weight) pitted black olives, chopped a bit
1 tablespoons small capers, well rinsed and drained ( I couldn’t find some)
2–3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley, to serve (optional)
salt and pepper, to taste


Put water for pasta on to boil, though you don’t need to get started on the sauce until it is pretty well boiling.

Pour the oil into a wide, shallowish frying pan, casserole or wok, and put on a medium heat. Add the finely chopped anchovies and cook for about 3 minutes, pressing and pushing with a wooden spoon, until the anchovies have almost “melted”, then add the garlic and chilli flakes (or sliced then diced jalapeños) and cook, stirring for another minute. Add diced tomatoes and season with salt and ground black pepper. Simmer while waiting for the pasta to cook.

Add cooked spaghetti to the sauce; mix well to coat evenly. Plate and serve. 🙂

I like to add a squeeze of lemon before serving..and sometimes I top it with soft cream cheese when I have some. Serve it with some salad greens and chicken schnitzel and/or simple cheese bruschetta

Happy Cooking! 🙂

4 Responses to "Pasta alla Puttanesca (Slut’s Spaghetti)"

  1. chef_d   November 30, 2010 at 11:36 pm

    Love love puttanesca !

  2. Grace   November 30, 2010 at 5:15 am

    Ms. Oilve, I can use fresh tomatoes instead of the canned one? Thanks po.

    • Olive   November 30, 2010 at 9:49 am

      Hi, Grace! pwede 🙂 .. put 2-3 medium tomatoes in boiling water for about 2 minutes, take it out and put in a bowl of cold water; when it’s cold enough to handle, peel the tomatoes then dice it. When you use it for this pasta dish, just add a tablespoon of tomato paste and some water to make the sauce.. OR you can simply diced the tomatoes then add it to the pan after the anchovies then add tomato paste and some water, when the tomatoes are tender, use a potato masher or serving fork to mash the tomatoes.. Thanks..Happy Cooking & Have a nice day!! 🙂

  3. Bridgett   November 29, 2010 at 7:46 pm

    Oh my goodness, this looks and sounds delicious. Love Nigella! I am sure my family would love this recipe.


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