Spaghetti puttanesca

Spaghetti puttanesca.
Spaghetti puttanesca. Photo: Marina Oliphant

This homestyle sauce, made with pantry staples, has its origins in Naples.


1 tbsp olive oil, plus extra

1 brown onion, diced

1 red chilli, deseeded and chopped

4 anchovy fillets, chopped

400g tin chopped tomatoes

200ml tomato passata

200ml water

1 tbsp small salted capers, rinsed

½ cup sun-dried or semi-dried tomatoes

2 tbsp small black olives

500g dried spaghetti

Sea salt and black pepper

Freshly grated parmesan cheese


Heat oil in a frying pan and saute onion. Add chilli, anchovies, tomatoes, passata, water, capers, sun-dried tomatoes and olives and cook over a medium heat for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Cook pasta in a pot of boiling salted water until al dente. Drain, reserving half a cup of pasta water.

Add salt, pepper and a glug of olive oil to the sauce. Lighten with a little pasta water, if needed. Add pasta and toss. Serve with parmesan.