Spaghetti Puttanesca

This rich, piquant pasta dish is a favourite in our household. Spaghetti puttanesca is a tomato and wine based sauce, which packs a punch thanks to salty anchovies, olives and capers. It doesn’t take too long to prepare and can be made with things you probably have in your store cupboard and fridge. Perfect for a quick, but luxurious Friday night dinner.

This became a favourite while my wife was working as an academic in a Cambridge University college. The job came with an apartment which had a tiny kitchen equipped with only a hotplate and a microwave. Stove-top dinners became a speciality of ours, and spaghetti puttanesca was always our go-to recipe. It’s hard to beat.


~Dom Eats!

spaghetti puttanesca

Spaghetti Puttanesca

A rich, piquant puttanesca sauce, packed with flavour from anchovies, wine and capers. Perfect with spaghetti or linguine.
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Total Time 35 mins
Course Main Course
Servings 2


  • 200 g Spaghetti
  • 2 tbsp Olive Oil
  • ½ Onion finely chopped
  • 25 g Anchovies chopped
  • ¼ tsp Chilli Flakes
  • 400 g Chopped Tomatoes tinned
  • 1 tbsp Tomato Puree
  • 100 ml Red Wine
  • 50 g Black Olives sliced
  • 1 tbsp Capers chopped
  • 1 handful Parsley chopped


  • Chop the onions and gently fry in 2 tablespoons of olive oil until softened and beginning to take on some colour, about 5-7 minutes.
  • Finely chop the anchovies and add to the onions along with the chilli flakes, frying for a further minute or two until the anchovies begin to melt into the oil.
  • Add the tinned tomatoes, red wine, tomato puree and a pinch of black pepper. Start preparing your spaghetti at this point. Simmer the sauce for around 15 minutes, until it becomes thickened and dark.
  • Stir the capers and olives into the sauce and allow to simmer for another minute or two.
  • When the spaghetti is cooked, drain and serve immediately with a couple of spoonfuls of sauce. Sprinkle generously with parsley.


Finely chopping the anchovies prevents the sauce being full of fine bones when the anchovies melt into the oil.
If you don’t have red wine, you could substitute with a tablespoon of red wine vinegar. The sauce will not need to simmer for as long, but it will not be as rich.
Keyword Anchovies, Pasta, Tomato, Wine
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