Pasta alla puttanesca


source: Hamish


  • onion (lots; diced)
  • garlic (lots; diced or crushed as you like)
  • olives (whole, pitted, or diced, as you like)
  • capers
  • anchovies (25 to 50g, as you like, or not, if you’re vegetarian)
  • cherry tomatoes
  • tomato purée
  • parmesan (optional)
  • basil (optional; preferably crushed, otherwise diced)
  • pasta of choice (penne work well, spaghetti often recommended)
  • don’t forget some Cayenne (very little)


Fry the onion in olive oil until it’s soft/translucent; not too hot so as to avoid discolouration. Reduce the heat then add the garlic and sautée for a minute as the pan cools. Then add the olives, capers, anchovies and cherry tomatoes, mix around (so the anchovies break up) until the ingredients are warm, say about a minute. Then add tomato purée, parmesan and basil, leave on heat until hot enough (no longer – we don’t want the tomatoes to disintegrate). Done. Mix with pasta of choice cooked in parallel. Serve with extra parmesan.

Freshly ground black pepper is also smart.

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