Spaghetti Alla Puttanesca, Italian Style

YIELD: 2-4


  • 6
    anchovy fillets, chopped (NOTE ( I used a 2 ounce can of Reese Rolled anchovies with capers added. Drained the anchovy oil fr)
  • 12
    teaspoon garlic, finely chopped
  • 1
    (28 ounce) can whole peeled italian roma tomatoes, coarsely chopped (Do not drain! Avoid regular tomatoes. They don't hold up well in cooking, and tend to make your sauc)
  • 1
    pinch salt
  • 2
    teaspoons fresh oregano, chopped small (or 1/2 tsp dried oregano)
  • 2
    tablespoons capers (Rinsed well to remove the very salty brine)
  • 8 -10
    kalamata olives, pitted and julienned (Purists use unpitted olives. I use pitted, as they're easier to work with. If you get the unpitted v)


  • Put all but 1 Tbs of the olive oil and the anchovies in a large skillet over a low heat and cook, stirring and mashing the anchovies until dissolved into a paste.
  • Add the garlic and cook for about 30 seconds, taking care not to brown it (garlic gets bitter if browned).
  • Raise the heat to a medium-high and add the tomatoes and juice, with a pinch of salt. When the sauce comes to a boil, turn the heat down and simmer until the tomatoes have reduced and separated from the oil. This will probably take 20-40 minutes.
  • Remove from the heat and set aside. If you want, you can now refrigerate the sauce and save for the next day.
  • Bring 4 quarts of water to a boil in a large pot, add 1 tbs of salt, and drop in the pasta all at once, stirring until the strands are submerged. If you have a smaller pot, you can use less than 4 quarts of water, but you must constantly stir the spaghetti for one minute.
  • When the pasta is almost done, return the skillet with the sauce to a medium heat, adding the oregano, capers, and olives. Simmer 3-5 more mins, no more. Cooking too long after capers and olives have been added will make sauce taste less fresh and more salty. (Trust me.).
  • When the pasta is cooked al dente, drain and toss with 1/2 cup of the sauce, to pre-flavour it and prevent it from sticking. Ladle pasta into serving dishes, taste sauce for salt, pour sauce over each serving bowl and serve at once.
  • This dish is also great when served with penne or fusilli.