How to make authentic spaghetti alla puttanesca

SpaghettiFew styles of cuisine have had as much impact on the global palate than that of the Italian nation. Pasta and pizza dishes are now commonly found in cities and towns right across the world, and it’s not hard to see why. Filling, tasty and authentic Italian food involves little more than a manageable array of herbs and spices, dried pasta and fresh but easily sourced items such as tomatoes, garlic and olives – in short, it’s simple but delicious.

Spaghetti alla puttanesca is a renowned Italian recipe, and is a favourite in many a kitchen. Directly translated as ‘whore’s spaghetti‘, the dish was first coined in the early 20th century when a restaurant owner had to create a dish for hungry customers late in the evening with only what he had left over in his kitchen. As such, the dish epitomises easy Italian cooking. Why not give it a go for yourself with the recipe below? You could eat this with a side salad, a glass of wine and some friends – the recipe will serve four people after all!


  • 400g spaghetti
  • 1 can of chopped tomatoes
  • 150g of sliced black olives – buying pitted will save you time!
  • 2 chopped garlic cloves
  • 6 canned fillers of anchovies, preferably in olive oil.
  • 1 tablespoon of salted capers
  • 5 tablespoons of olive oil
  • A handful of chopped fresh parsley
  • Salt and pepper to add to taste


First of all, boil a pan of water and set your spaghetti boiling. It’s important to keep an eye on the pasta whilst you’re making the sauce, but it should only usually take about 10 to 12 minutes to cook.

Whilst your spaghetti is cooking, heat a frying pan with the olive oil, and add the garlic. Just before the garlic turns a rich, golden colour, add the anchovies, olives and capers. Once these items have had tie to heat through, gently stir the tomatoes, a pinch of salt and pepper and the parsley into the frying pan.

Leave this sauce to simmer until your pasta is cooked and drained, before stirring the spaghetti into the sauce and dishing up.

The original recipe was posted by Gino D’Acampo on BBC Food. Enjoy!

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Miriam Melchers

Miriam is Social Media Manager EMEA at Rosetta Stone. She said ‘Dag Amsterdam. Hello London!’ and moved to the most multicultural city in the world. She speaks Dutch, English, un petit peu Français and thinks German is ‘ganz toll’! That’s why she’s improving her German with Rosetta Stone. She loves languages, but she loves engaging with our learners and fans even more. Follow her on Twitter.

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