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Spaghetti alla Puttanesca, The Authentic Italian Recipe

Spaghetti alla Puttanesca is a traditional Italian dish typical of Neapolitan cuisine that is prepared with a sauce of olives, capers and tomatoes.
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Spaghetti alla Puttanesca, The Authentic Italian Recipe
  • Difficulty Easy
  • Prep 20 minutes
  • Cook 10 minutes
  • Servings 4 people

Spaghetti alla Puttanesca is a traditional Italian pasta dish from the Naples, where they are also simply call this dish “aulive e cchiapparielle” that is, olive and capperi. In fact, the Puttanesca Sauce is prepared mainly with these two ingredients and tomato sauce. Please note that only the Roman variation of Pasta alla Puttanesca wants anchovies to be also added, but today we will prepare together the authentic recipe for Naples Spaghetti alla Puttanesca that is without anchovies.

Curious about the name of the recipe? You can roughly translate “Puttanesca” with the term “call girls” and it is said that this dish originated in the brothels of Naples and was created to draw in customers with its tempting aromas. Another story suggests it was a simple meal that was easy for the ladies of the evening to prepare quickly.

Pasta alla Puttanesca is just one of the most beloved traditional Italian dishes, such as the Spaghetti Carbonara, the Spaghetti allo Scoglio, the Spaghetti all’Amatriciana and the Spaghetti Cacio e Pepe!


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  1. To make Spaghetti alla Puttanesca start by blanching the tomatoes in hot water for a few seconds, peel them and cut them into pieces. Rinse the salted capers and pit the black olives. Put in a pan a drizzle of olive oil, the minced garlic, the chili made into rounds, the chopped capers and the olives also made into rounds. Let it cook for 2-3 of minutes and also pour the chopped tomatoes, tomato paste and half dose of chopped parsley into the pan. Let everything cook for 10-15 minutes on a gentle heat.

  2. While the sauce is cooking, start cooking the pasta in plenty of salted water, once the pasta is cooked but al dente, drain it and pour it into the pan with the sauce, saute for a few minutes and add the rest of the chopped parsley. Here you have some very tasty Spaghetti alla Puttanesca ready to serve right away!

    Ricetta Pasta Puttanesca


If you do not have fresh tomatoes on hand, you can use peeled tomatoes.


This is the classic and official version of Spaghetti alla Puttanesca, there is also an alternative (perhaps even better known) that involves using anchovy fillets as well. In case you want to include them, you will have to put them in the pan first right after the oil and before you start pouring in the other ingredients.


Spaghetti alla Puttanesca can be stored for 1-2 days in the refrigerator and to reheat them, as always, we recommend using a pan with a drizzle of olive oil.