Spaghetti Puttanesca (aka Whore’s Spaghetti)

Spaghetti Puttanesca, adapted from Valli Little's 5 of the Best

This is one of our favourite dishes from our most used cook book – 5 of the Best, by Valli Little. We both love our pasta and have it at least once a week, and this dish is made up of some of our favourite ingredients; kalamata olives, basil, garlic and sundried tomatoes, which are all given a lift with a hint of heat from the chilli. As far as pasta dishes go, this one is as easy as they come, but has so much flavour – try it!

We only recently discovered in the latest Delicious Magazine
(in a spread featuring Nigella Lawson) that the Italian translation for Spaghetti Puttanesca is actually Whores Spaghetti! Apparently it was called this as it contains basic ingredients that the Italian housewives would have had at hand for when they were too busy…

Serves 3-4

  • 2-3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • Olive Oil
  • 1 small red chilli, finely chopped (or chilli flakes)
  • 150g pitted kalamata olives, sliced
  • 6-8 semi-dried tomatoes, chopped
  • 1T capers
  • 1×425 can chopped tomatoes
  • 400-500g spaghetti
  • handful of fresh basil leaves, torn
  • grated parmesan
  1. Heat the olive oil in a frying pan and add the garlic and chilli, cook for ~1 minute
  2. Add the olives, semi-dried tomatoes, capers and tinned tomatoes, season with salt and pepper and simmer for 15-20 minutes
  3. Cook the spaghetti in salted water as per the packet directions
  4. Drain the pasta and return it to the saucepan then add the sauce and basil to the pasta
  5. Serve and top with grated parmesan and any remaining basil leaves
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