Spaghetti Alla Puttanesca

By Bernie and Mike Bell

I was given this recipe years ago, and told a tale to go with it.  The tale is that Spaghetti Alla Puttanesca means Whore’s Pasta, the reason being that, when the whores of Naples had been working hard and needed something quick to make, tasty, and easy to eat – this would be their dish of choice.

It’s usually made with capers – but we don’t like capers!

Here it is…….Whore’s Pasta……


  • Tin of anchovy fillets
  • Oil drained from anchovy fillets
  • A small amount of butter, margarine or olive oil
  • Clove/cloves of garlic –  amount depends on how much you like garlic – chopped
  • Medium tin of tomatoes
  • 12 or more olives, chopped – not too small
  • 1/3 pkt of spaghetti
  • 1 tblsp chopped fresh parsley or equivalent of dried
  • Ground black pepper, according to taste.

Heat oil in a large frying pan – using the oil drained from the anchovies plus the butter – or whatever.  Fry anchovies gently until they break up, add the garlic and olives and fry a minute or two more.  Add tomatoes ( and capers if you like them). Season and simmer to become a nice, thick, rich sauce, while you cook the spaghetti.  When spaghetti is cooked, drain and add to pan with the sauce and stir together until thoroughly mixed. Sprinkle with parsley – serve – and ENJOY! 

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