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If you’re looking for a great way to serve spaghetti you might not have tried yet, look for Spaghetti alla Puttanesca. Spaghetti alla puttanesca originates in Italy and is a surprisingly recent dish, growing popular in the 1960’s. Sugo alla puttanesca is typically a hotter and saltier sauce combined with olives, chili peppers, and capers.

For our puttanesca, we started off by cooking our onions, then stirring in the anchovies. From there, we simply added in our spices, some crushed tomatoes and tomato paste, and some red pepper flakes. Cooking was just as simple as letting the sauce reduce down, then we served it over spaghetti al dente. This dish also taste great with a bitter side salad with a vinaigrette. Keep reading below for our favorite recipe…

Spaghetti alla Puttanesca

(makes 4-6 servings)


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup minced onion
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3-4 canned anchovies, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 28oz can crushed tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup white wine or chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons fresh oregano leaves
  • 2 tablespoons small capers
  • 3/4 cup pitted olives, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • Dill for garnish


  1. Heat the olive oil over medium-high heat in a large, deep skillet. When the oil is hot, add the onions and saute until soft and translucent (about 4-5 minutes). While the onions are cooking, stir in the anchovies along with some of the oil from the can. Add the garlic and cook an additional minute.
  2. Mix in the tomato paste and cook for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the crushed tomato, wine or broth, oregano, red pepper flakes, sugar, and olives. turn the heat down to a gentle simmer.
  3. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the spaghetti to the water, then add the capers to the sauce. Cook the pasta according to the package to al dente.
  4. Drain the pasta and transfer to a large bowl. Drizzle a little oil over the pasta and mix. Stir the parsley into the pasta sauce. Mix the pasta with the sauce, then serve garnished with dill.
  5. Enjoy!

Recipe adapted fromSimply Recipes

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