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  • Writer's picturePasta Grammar

Pasta alla Puttanesca | Authentic Italian Recipe

Updated: Jan 11, 2022

This savory pasta dish has a not-so-savory background: it was traditionally known as the food of choice for Neapolitan prostitutes! Don't let the history turn you off, though. Pasta alla puttanesca is simple to make and very delicious!

Pasta alla Puttanesca

Watch the Pasta Grammar video where we make this recipe here:

Serves 2.

For this recipe, you will need:

- 1 clove garlic

- 2-3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

- 3 flat fillet anchovies

- 10 kalamata olives, sliced

- 1 tbsp capers, diced

- 35 grape tomatoes, halved

- Fresh black pepper

- Salt

- 5.5 oz. (160g) spaghetti, linguine or penne pasta

- Chopped parsley for topping

Put a large pot of water on to boil. Salt it generously.

Crush the garlic clove while keeping the skin on. Add it and the olive oil into a skillet over medium/high temperature until the garlic begins to bubble. Remove the garlic, lower the heat, and add the anchovies.

Allow the anchovies to fry for 1 minute, stirring occasionally, then add the capers and olives. Sauté for about 2 minutes, then add the tomatoes.

If your tomatoes are very fresh and juicy, you may not have to add any water at all into the pan. Otherwise, add a small ladle of the pasta water into the sauce. Bring to a simmer, add a pinch of black pepper and cook, covered, until the tomatoes have softened and released their juices—about 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, add the pasta into the boiling water. Cook as directed, but for about 2 minutes less than the recommended "al dente" cook time. If the sauce finishes before the pasta is cooked, simply add a little more water into the pan so that it can continue simmering without burning. Taste the sauce and add salt to taste, if necessary (the anchovies and capers are already quite salty, so you may not need any).

When the pasta is ready, use tongs to transfer it into the sauce, along with 1-2 ladlefuls of pasta water. Turn up the heat, bring to a simmer, and stir all together for about 2 minutes, or until the pasta is al dente to your taste.

Serve immediately, topped with a sprinkling of chopped parsley.

Buon appetito!


Thianna Noordzij
Thianna Noordzij
Jul 18, 2022

This dish has become a staple for us, we make it for guests often who cannot believe we're only in the kitchen for 15 minutes! It's delicious thanks for sharing the recipe


Jennifer Curran
Jennifer Curran
Apr 01, 2022

So delicious! I recently found your channel and love watching your videos. This is the first of your recipes that's I've tried. I like how the sauce can be made in the time that it takes to cook the pasta.


LP Tentindo
LP Tentindo
Jan 13, 2022

Wow! Without olives (forgot to buy), with Calabrian chilies, a pasta to fall in love without having to pay by the hour.


Dec 28, 2021

Perfetto! I could eat this for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Many thanks.


Apr 14, 2021

Another brilliant recipe, pasta grammar. Simpler than others I have tried in the past and, therefore, it seems, much better.

Used salt packed anchovies and capers with brined gaeta olives. Absolutely wonderful!!

And this is not the name origin I heard from my best friend's Nonna.

Not "eaten by" but "named for." Not a PG story.

Pasta Grammar
Pasta Grammar
Apr 14, 2021
Replying to

Well done! It looks amazing!

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